Sedation Dentistry Questions

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

1.  Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?

  • Adults who suffer from severe dental fear and anxiety
  • Those who have had traumatic dental experiences and are afraid of having bad dental experiences again
  • People who have difficultly getting numb with local anesthetics
  • People with very sensitive teeth
  • People with busy lifestyles who need a lot of dentistry completed comfortably in one or two appointments
  • Adults who hate needles and shots
  • Adults who object to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with dental care
  • People who are afraid and embarrassed about their teeth and want a nice smile that looks professional and enhances their image.

2.  What is the medication normally used?

Our most commonly used sedative agent is Triazolam.  It is a sedative hypnotic pill in the same family as Valium.  It is the same medication that is prescribed hundreds of thousands of times a year by physicians as a very safe sleeping aid.  The drug enforcement agency has categorized it as a schedule IV substance, which means it is only one category higher than common aspirin.  In over one million dental sedations monitored by the DOCS organization, there has never been a severe emergency or death using this medication.

3.  What are contraindications to sedation dentistry?

  • Pregnancy
  • Nursing mothers
  • Acute narrow angle glaucoma
  • Allergy or sensitivity to benzodiazepine medications
  • Severe medical conditions
  • Significant respiratory problems like severe asthma or emphysema
  • Psychosis
  • Taking a medication called a MAO inhibitor
  • Alcoholics
  • We estimate that 90-95% of the adult population are good candidates for oral sedation dentistry.

4.  Any special restrictions prior to sedation dentistry?

We will go over preoperative instructions in detail when you are scheduling your visit.  The highlights are:

  • Nothing to eat or drink 8 hrs prior
  • Reduce caffeine for 12 hrs prior
  • No alcohol or narcotic drugs
  • Take prescription drugs as you normally would unless otherwise directed
  • No contact lenses
  • Wear light-weight comfortable clothing, preferably with short sleeves
  • It is absolutely essential that you have your escort drive you to your appointment and back home

5.  How much does sedation dentistry cost?

The fee is $225 per appointment for the sedation.

6.  Why use a pill and not an IV or general anesthetic?

We work with a dental anesthesiologist when necessary but we have found nearly 99% of the time it is not necessary for restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.  Deep sedation and general anesthesia carry increased risks and costs.  Costs can be 5 to 10 times greater.  The pill we use is placed under the tongue where it dissolves and is absorbed very quickly.  Not only is it safer and less costly, but oral sedation fits easier into most people's schedule.

Contact our Scottsdale sedation dentist for more information on sedation dentistry and how we can provide you with a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. We happily help patients in Scottsdale, Glendale, Phoenix, Peoria and surrounding areas in Arizona.