Getting dental procedures is a scary process for many people – more than they would care to admit. It’s not uncommon for patients to avoid going for oral care simply because the whirring instruments cause anxiety. Though, various procedures like root canal treatments and removing extensive cavities may need you to opt for solutions to avoid the possible discomfort. And, sedation dentistry could be the key!
An important factor to remember is that giving anesthesia and painkillers needs special training and expertise. For this reason, you’ll want to opt for an expert sedation dentist in Calgary who is qualified and aware of the right protocols for providing sedation. Given a choice between risking long-term health consequences and getting dental treatment for small problems, it is advisable to come in for regular care.
Why Should You Opt for Sedation Dentistry?
If you’ve always thought that doctors recommend sedation only in case of surgical or invasive procedures, that’s not exactly true. Sedation can help take away the fear and anxiety of sitting in the dentist’s chair. The anesthetics help lower awareness and allow you to slip into a comfortable state. The practitioner can complete the procedure in fewer appointments and lower the total cost you’ll incur. Many patients have no recollection afterward. Or, they may have some memory, but feel no pain or unease.
Here are some of the reasons why you would want to visit our sedation dentist in Calgary.
- You’ve had a bad experience as a child or adult.
- You need to bring a young child for treatment. Getting kids to sit still can be challenging.
- Your pain threshold is low.
- You have sensitive gums and oral tissues.
- You may have a high gag reflex that makes it impossible for the dentist to work in your mouth.
Choose Your Sedation Dental Expert with Care
If getting oral treatment makes you nervous, it is best that you visit a sedation dentist in Calgary who you know well. Spend time in the clinic getting to know the professionals who will be treating you. Sign up for the procedure only if the practitioner inspires confidence and makes you feel comfortable. You can discuss the sedation dentistry procedures in detail and inquire about the different kinds of anesthesia you can opt for.
Here are some of the other factors you should keep in mind when choosing the right expert.
1. Check for the Professional’s Educational Qualifications
As explained earlier, giving sedation needs specialized training. For instance, doctors need at least 18 to 25 hours of education for understanding how to give oral conscious sedation. The practitioner should also have extensive knowledge of sedative protocols, medications, and equipment used. Assistants and nurses helping in the doctor’s clinic should have the necessary training to help patients who are sedated. Know that administering anesthesia needs certification. And, dentists performing IV sedation must have a postgraduate degree. Accordingly, you’ll want to check for the educational qualifications and school where your doctor trained. Not only are there very few schools that offer sedation courses, but only specific organizations provide continuing education programs approved by apex medical institutes.
2. Ask About the Continuing Education Credits the Dentist Has
The field of sedation dentistry is constantly evolving with newer techniques emerging all the time. You’ll want to opt to work with a practitioner who keeps up with the latest developments in the industry. Choose a doctor who regularly attends training programs organized by reputable educational organizations in Canada.
3. Match the Dentist’s Expertise to Your Medical Needs
Sedation for dental procedures is typically given by way of oral medications, gases, or intravenous drips. When working out the right kind of anesthetic for you, the doctor must take into account your medical history. She’ll also ask detailed questions about any pre-existing health conditions you have because of which you take prescription medicines. If you regularly take any other over-the-counter vitamins or supplements, make sure the doctor knows about them also. The right sedation and dosage can depend on all these factors. An expert sedation dentist in Calgary will have a clear understanding of the right combination of drugs you can safely take without the risk of complications.
4. Discuss the Right Kind of Sedation Dentistry You’ll Need
Dental sedation can be of different types and varying degrees such as mild, moderate, and deep. Expert professionals take into account the kind of procedure you need and balance your tolerance levels. They may also consider the medications you’re taking and factor in any known allergies before formulating the right kind of anesthesia for you.
Inhalation analgesia is a mild form of anesthesia that takes away feelings of anxiety and unease. You’ll breathe in a small amount of laughing gas or nitrous oxide that stimulates sensations of overall well-being. If you aren’t comfortable about having a hood placed on your nose and mouth, the dentist might suggest oral medication instead.
Moderate sedation is when the patient is semi-conscious and has a low awareness of smells, sounds, and pain. At the same time, the patient is in control of their breathing and has normal reflexes. You’ll also respond properly when someone speaks or interacts with you. Moderate sedation is typically given orally in a pill form. The sedation dentist in Calgary will instruct you to take the medication a few hours before the appointment so it can take effect. You’ll likely need a friend or family member to accompany you to and from the dental clinic.
Moderate sedation can also be given by way of an injection. This drug takes effect quickly but lasts for only a short time while the procedure is being done. Most patients wake up from the anesthesia with no recollection of the event. An injection delivered in the muscles of the upper arm or upper thigh is called intramuscular sedation. This form of moderate sedation also works quickly, but it is less commonly used.
Deep sedation is typically given to patients undergoing extensive treatments like, for instance, dental implants or wisdom tooth removal. The effects of the anesthesia are likely to last for a while afterward and patients have no memory of the event. Our sedation dentist in Calgary takes complete precautions when giving deep sedation since patients may not be able to breathe on their own. The effects of the drugs may also dull their reflexes and prevent reactions to stimulation.
General anesthesia does not fall into the category of sedation. GA is only designed for patients who have extreme anxiety or for invasive surgical procedures. Patients are completely unconscious and may not be able to breathe on their own. Doctors giving GA must monitor the patient all through keeping a close watch on respiratory and heart functioning.
5. Inquire About the Monitoring Equipment Used at the Sedation Dentistry
Every advanced dental facility that provides anesthesia will also have an array of monitoring equipment. These instruments are essential to make sure the patient is comfortable and safe all through the procedure. For instance, the pulse oximeter assesses levels of oxygen in the blood. Further, oxygen equipment and reversal medication should be available in case the patient has an adverse reaction and the sedation needs to be reversed right away. Although such occurrences rarely happen, expert dentists are well-prepared for them. They’ll make sure that all the necessary equipment is readily available at hand.
6. Take Your Time Reading Through the Consent Form
Once you make the decision to go for sedation dentistry, the practitioner will require that you sign the consent form. This form will include all the details of the procedure including the kind of anesthesia that will be used, the equipment, and the possible risks and complications. You’ll want to take the time reading through the terms carefully. Ask questions and discuss doubts with the doctor before signing. Your sedation dentist in Calgary will also walk you through the process and explain in detail what to expect. Any precautions and medicines you’ll take before and after the treatment are also outlined. In addition, you’ll learn about the conditions under which patients cannot get sedation. Like, for instance, if you’re pregnant. It is also best that you share the information with a caregiver who is going to accompany you.
7. Request for Estimates of the Expected Cost of Getting Sedation Dentistry
When discussing getting dental sedation, you’ll want to talk about the expected costs. That’s because most insurance carriers don’t cover the cost of getting anesthesia. This factor is especially true for cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth whitening. Some companies may offer coverage depending on the kind of sedation you need and the dental procedure involved. Choose a practitioner who can connect with the insurance provider by way of direct billing and help you lower the out-of-pocket costs you’ll pay. Insurance coverage can also depend on various other conditions. Like, for instance, in the case of patients who have some health issues because of which they absolutely need sedation when getting oral treatment. The type of plan you have can also influence the reimbursement you can expect.
In any case, expect that you may have to pay for anesthesia by the hour. The cost for mild sedation can range from $150 to $200 while the charge for moderate sedation can start at $500. Of course, this cost can vary according to individual practitioners, their expertise levels, and the location where you’re getting treatment. If you cannot cover the cost in a single payment, talk to the sedation dentist in Calgary about other options. For instance, you could pay in easy installments over the next few months. Or, the clinic might offer discounts if you sign up for multiple procedures.
8. Getting Pain Relievers After the Procedure
Many dental procedures need recovery time and you might need painkillers to relieve the discomfort while you heal. A good practitioner will recommend the right pain medication which may include non-narcotic and narcotic options. Most non-narcotic drugs include ibuprofen and aspirin, both of which are non-steroidal and effective in reducing inflammation and easing pain. Acetaminophen is another good option for toothache and light pain after a dental procedure. However, if you’ve had to go in for more invasive treatment like a root canal procedure, you might need stronger medication to keep you comfortable.
An expert sedation dentist in Calgary will recommend the proper drugs after examining the prescriptions you’re already taking. For instance, certain medical conditions may not permit taking blood-thinning drugs. In addition, you’ll want to check with the doctor about the correct dosage and how to store and properly dispose of any leftover pills. You may also need specific directions in case of medicines prescribed for children and seniors.
Staying Informed and Involved in Your Oral Health Care is a Smart Move
Taking good care of you and your family’s oral health care need not be a complicated or scary task. Dental practitioners treat millions of people each year safely and without pain and anxiety. Recognize the importance of regular dental checkups considering that your overall, long-term health depends on it. Understand the positives of dental treatments and the risks that go with them. Being informed will help you make the right decisions. Work with a certified sedation dentist in Calgary and keep your oral structure healthy. If needed, get a practical plan that uses anesthesia to make procedures comfortable.
If you need more information, stop by at our Macleod Trail Dental facility in Calgary and talk to the expert doctor on board, Dr. Jennifer Silver. She’ll help you come up with solutions that make dental care a breeze and are easy on the pocket.
Ready to schedule an appointment? Call us at this number: (403) 253-1248 and talk to one of our team members. You also have the option of adding your contact details on our Contact page. Put down your query and we’ll get back to you with responses.
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Dr. Jennifer Silver is one of the top dental surgeons practicing in Calgary, Alberta using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to helping her patients. She believes in offering expert advice and make recommendations to patients just as she would to a family member. Dr. Silver collaborates with a large network of specialists and taps into their expertise to provide holistic care.
Dr. Jennifer Silver has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her academic qualifications include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Before attaining this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in the sphere of dentistry for 10 years. Dr. Silver is currently helping patients with dental issues such as TMJ pain and sleep apnea in addition to dentistry. She is keenly interested in constantly upgrading her skills and hopes to gain additional training in oral surgery in the future.