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Sedation Dentistry – Jacksonville, FL

No More Fear at The Dentist

In the past, if you were anxious about going to the dentist, your only solution was to basically grit your teeth and get over it! Thankfully, we’re now able to help our patients overcome these feelings with sedation dentistry in Jacksonville, FL. Whether going to the dentist makes you feel a little nervous or completely terrified, we have a method that’s perfect for you and will ensure a smooth and calm appointment. We’re ready to change the way you feel about the dentist, and you can learn more by giving us a call today.

Happy patient after sedation dentistry appointment

What Makes Our Sedation Dentistry Better?

The big difference between our dental office and many others is that in addition to simply offering sedation, our team has also trained extensively to apply it. That means we’re able to safely use it for any procedure and administer just enough so that a patient can get through their appointment easily without feeling “out of it” for the next few days.

Meet Our Dentists

Relaxed dental patient with nitrous oxide mask

Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry

Patient taking oral conscious dental sedation pill

If just the thought of going to the dentist is enough to make a chill run down your spine, then you’re definitely a good candidate for oral conscious sedation (OCS) in Jacksonville! This method helps you start feeling better before your appointment even begins because you’ll be prescribed a medication to take at home the day of your visit. By the time you sit in the chair, you’ll already be deeply sedated, and the appointment will seem to fly by very quickly. Because of the strength of OCS, we require a friend or family member to drive you to and from our dental office.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Oral conscious sedation in Jacksonville

Oral conscious sedation is one of the most popular options for individuals suffering from mild or moderate dental anxiety. Stronger than regular nitrous oxide, it offers a calming and comfortable experience that is void of pain or worry.

When meeting with our dental team to discuss your candidacy, we will go over your medical history and any current medications you’re taking. We want to make sure you won’t be allergic to the pill you’ll be provided.

Although oral medication is not designed to fully sedate you, there is a good chance you’ll be less likely to remember much from your appointment, which is a pleasant realization for individuals who are fearful of visiting the dentist.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Person taking oral medication in Jacksonville

You’ll be expected to take the prescribed pill medication at least one hour before arriving for your appointment. Because of its effects, it’s important that you have someone drive you to the dentist’s office as well as escort you home.

Within a short time of reaching the dentist’s chair, you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable. You might even feel quite sleepy; however, you will remain cognizant enough to communicate with your sedation dentist in Jacksonville throughout your procedure.

Once the appointment is over, you can expect the effects to linger for some time, which is why you’ll need someone to take you home. It’s recommended that you do not resume normal activity until the effects from the sedation have completely worn off, which can take a full 24 hours. 

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Person under oral conscious sedation in Jacksonville

Most individuals who suffer from any of the following are considered good candidates for oral conscious sedation:

  • You have mild or moderate dental anxiety
  • You have a sensitive/strong gag reflex
  • You’re preparing to undergo multiple dental procedures
  • You struggle to maintain appointments due to fear
  • Keeping your mouth open for prolonged periods is difficult
  • You have trouble sitting for extended periods
  • You’ve experienced past dental trauma

However, if you are pregnant, have a respiratory condition, or take certain medications, it is best if you do not pursue oral conscious sedation. This is why it’s essential to discuss your medical history with our team before agreeing to any type of treatment that may include the use of sedation dentistry.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Young woman with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask

For minor dental anxiety, nothing “takes the edge off” better than nitrous oxide sedation. This colorless, odorless gas is mixed with pure oxygen and inhaled through a small nasal mask, creating feelings of warmth, happiness, and serenity. It can also cause a slight tingling sensation which leads to many patients giggling, which is why nitrous oxide is better known as “laughing gas.” Reliable and gentle, this approach is safe for patients of any age and can be applied even during standard checkups and cleanings.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Dentist talking to senior patient about nitrous oxide

Since nitrous oxide can effectively alleviate dental-related anxiety, it’s worth reaching out to our team if you’ve struggled with a fear of the dentist. However, this calming sedative is also helpful for patients who have a strong gag reflex, who have a fear of needles, who struggle with dental sensitivity, and who need more extensive dental work. Typically, it’s only not recommended for patients who are allergic, who have trouble breathing through their nose, or who are expecting.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Closeup of nitrous oxide and oxygen nozzles

One of the biggest benefits of nitrous oxide is that it doesn’t take long for the effects to kick in! After you arrive for your appointment, you’ll get settled into the treatment chair and a member of our team will place the comfortable nasal mask over your nose. Then, they will switch on the nitrous oxide. Since the gas is odorless and colorless, you probably won’t notice a difference until you feel a wave of relaxation wash over you. Throughout your procedure, you’ll continue to breathe it in, keeping you calm and comfortable every step of the way.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Patient giving thumbs up while sitting in treatment chair

Once we’ve completed your treatment, we will let you know and switch off the nitrous oxide. Within a few minutes, the effects will completely dissipate – it’s that quick! As a result, you won’t need to worry about coordinating transportation to and from your appointment. Instead, we will answer any questions you have and provide you with post-op instructions. After that, you’ll be free to go about your day as usual.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Patient learning sedation dentistry in Jacksonville

Preparing for sedation dentistry in Jacksonville can feel a bit daunting. Allowing someone else to administer a sedative of any kind requires complete trust, which is why Dr. Carlson and his team are skilled and equipped to provide safe and effective sedation solutions for patients with varying needs. If you have questions about the process and potential side effects, review the information below and contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss further.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

When administered by licensed and skilled professionals, yes, sedation dentistry is safe. Of course, it is essential that you meet with your dentist beforehand to discuss your eligibility, as it is necessary to go over your medical history and any medications you’re currently taking. Nitrous oxide is considered the mildest form of sedation and safest to use, but no matter if you receive nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, it’s important to weigh all the potential risks by determining if any health conditions or medications could cause a negative interaction.

Throughout your sedation, our dental team will monitor your vitals to ensure you remain safe and comfortable throughout your visit.

Will I remember anything with dental sedation?

Whether you receive nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, you will not technically be “asleep.” You might feel light-headed or sleepy, but you’ll remain conscious throughout your appointment. However, there is a good chance you will remember little or nothing at all, which is one of the great benefits of sedation. Even if you do remember anything, it’s unlikely to phase you, as you’ll feel completely relaxed and comfortable.

Is sedation dentistry worth it?

Undergoing sedation dentistry is most certainly worth the time and money, especially if you exhibit dental anxiety, have difficulty sitting still for extended periods, have a sensitive gag reflex, or are preparing to undergo multiple treatments during one visit. Going to the dentist’s office can be a traumatic experience for some patients. By providing this unique solution, we can make a person’s visit much more enjoyable and ensure they receive the dental care they need to avoid more serious oral health problems in the future.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?

Most dental insurance plans view sedation the same way they do cosmetic dentistry. As a result, it is unlikely they will cover the cost. However, if you have a disability that makes it difficult, if not impossible to visit the dentist, you may be eligible for coverage through your dental insurance company. Also, if you are undergoing multiple procedures (i.e., tooth extractions), your dental insurance carrier might agree to pay for sedation. No two plans are the same, so you’ll need to review yours before agreeing to move forward with treatment. If you’re unsure what to ask or look for with regards to your policy, a member of our dental team will be happy to assist, so you can focus more on your dental health and less on the financial side of dentistry.