What is Painless Dentistry?

If you mention that you’re going in for a dental procedure, chances are that someone around you is going to say they had a horrible experience. Most people believe that dentistry is painful and nothing can be done about it. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many people avoid going to the dentist.

However, at Legacy Dental in Salt Lake City, we take a different approach. We believe that the fear of pain should not get in the way of dental treatment. We offer painless dentistry- often referred to as sedation dentistry.

From the moment you enter our clinic, we strive to make you feel comfortable and confident. After all, your state of mind has a major impact on how effective pain control and relief measures are. We will take the time to discuss your treatment plan and answer any questions or address any concerns you may have during your consultation.

Then, when it’s time to do the dental work, we will provide you with a sedative to help you relax. This will allow us to resolve your dental issues and keeps you from experiencing pain and anxiety.

What does Painless Dentistry Involve?

The dental team at Legacy Dental offers several types of sedation based on your personal needs. During your consultation visit, we will discuss your anxiety, your personal preferences, the length of your procedure, and your personal health history. Our sedation options include:

Nitrous Oxide

The first option is nitrous oxide, also referred to as “laughing gas”. If you choose this option, a mask will be placed over your nose, and you will breathe in nitrous oxide. You will feel calm and relaxed within 3 to 5 minutes. The dentist will control the amount of nitrous you are getting and will adjust it during the procedure as needed.

Once the procedure is complete, you will be given pure oxygen to flush the nitrous out of your system. Since the gas leaves your system quickly, you won’t need to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

Oral Conscious Sedation

The second option is oral conscious sedation. You will be given an oral sedative in pill form about an hour before your procedure. Pediatric patients will be given a liquid. This form of sedation will make you feel sleepy, and you might fall asleep. However, if necessary, you can communicate with the dentist and can be woken up easily.

Since this type of sedation does impact your motor skills and memory, you’ll want to make sure you bring someone with you to drive you home following the procedure.

IV Sedation

The third option we offer is IV sedation. This is still considered conscious sedation because you will be able to communicate with the dentist if needed. IV sedation is the best option for patients who have severe dental anxiety or who will be undergoing a long dental procedure.

The sedative will be provided through an IV and during the procedure, your oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate are monitored.

The dosage can be adjusted if necessary, and you can be given medications to reverse the sedation if needed. Most patients who choose IV sedation fall asleep during the procedure and have very little to no memory of the procedure after.

Benefits of Painless Dentistry

There are many benefits of painless dentistry at Legacy Dental, including:

Reduces Anxiety

The primary advantage of painless dentistry is anxiety relief. Many patients suffer from some level of dental anxiety. They are hesitant to seek treatment due to past experience or because of the horror stories they’ve heard from their friends and family.

When a patient is jittery and/or restless, it becomes more challenging for the dentist to perform the necessary procedures. Sedation relaxes the patient, making them feel more comfortable. When the patient is relaxed, it’s much easier for the dentist to perform the procedures to get the patient back to good oral health.

Reduces Gag Reflex

Most people would agree that a gag reflex is a good thing. It keeps foreign objects from getting into your body. However, it becomes a problem when the dentist is trying to work on your teeth.

In some cases, the dentist needs to get to the back of your mouth to work on teeth, but the gag reflex makes it impossible. In fact, an excessive gag reflex can cause damage or injury to the patient’s mouth. Sedation paralyzes the gag reflex, allowing the dentist to do what needs to be done quickly and efficiently.

Reduces Discomfort

One of the primary reasons that patients avoid dental care is that they are afraid of pain and discomfort. In some cases, it’s because of the noise that the machines make, while others are worried about the pressure, and others are afraid of the needles used to numb the area or the scalpel used to cut into the gum to remove decayed teeth.

Sedation reduces pain and discomfort. In fact, most patients don’t feel anything when they are given sedation. The best part is, especially with oral or IV sedation, most patients have little to no memory of the procedure itself.

Creates a Painless Experience

Anxiety causes your blood pressure to increase, which also increases your sensitivity to pain and discomfort. However, sedation relaxes the patient, creating a painless experience. Patients are conscious, so they can communicate with the dentist if needed, but relaxed enough that they don’t mind the work being done.

Makes Procedures Easy and Fast

When a patient requires multiple procedures in one appointment, sedation is the best option. If the dentist isn’t worried about how you will react during treatment, they can work faster and more efficiently. The patient will remain relaxed and won’t squirm/wiggle while the dentist works. 

Cost of Painless Dentistry

The cost of sedation depends on the type that is used:

  • Nitrous oxide costs $80 to $150 for the first hour
  • Oral conscious sedation is $250 to $500 for the first hour
  • IV sedation is $500 to $1,000 for the first hour

If you need sedation beyond one hour, you may incur an additional fee. Most dental insurance plans will not cover sedation. However, our friendly office staff will work with your provider to determine your coverage. 

Dental Anxiety? Ask Us About Painless Dentistry Options at Legacy Dental

We believe that dental anxiety should not get in the way of dental treatment. Therefore, we offer several options for painless dentistry. If you have dental anxiety, make sure to let the team know during your consultation. This will allow us to include sedation in your treatment plan. Let Legacy Dental give you back your smile with painless dentistry.

Painless Dentistry FAQs

The team at Legacy Dental works closely with our patients to make sure they have an understanding of their options. Some of the most common questions we hear about painless dentistry include the following:

Painless dentistry is the process of using sedation to help patients relax during their dental treatment.

In our office, we offer nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.

No, you will not feel anything during your procedure. You will be conscious, so if you do feel anything, please let the team know and we will adjust the dosage.

While you will be relaxed during the procedure, you will be awake. This means that you will be able to communicate with the team if needed. If you do fall asleep, it is considered a “twilight sleep”, which means you can easily be woken up if needed.

Yes, all of our sedation options are 100% safe. You will be monitored throughout the procedure and will be brought out quickly if needed.

The length of sedation depends on the type used. Nitrous wears off quickly- you will be able to leave the clinic yourself. However, oral conscious and IV sedation take longer to be metabolized by the body. you will want to have someone with you that can drive you home after your procedure.

If you have dental anxiety or will be undergoing a lengthy procedure, sedation dentistry may be the best option for you. We also typically recommend sedation for our pediatric patients, as they often have difficulty sitting still.

How to reach us in and around Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Thursday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 8.00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8.00am – 2:00pm
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