Q. Is sedation predictable?
A. Yes, intravenous sedation is extremely predictable. Other modalities such as intramuscular and oral are not as predictable in terms of how long it takes for you to feel sleepy. This can be a problem if you become very awake during a procedure. Properly re-sedating you using intramuscular and especially oral routes may take a long time. With intravenous, a small amount of drug is injected directly into your blood allowing you to be comfortable in less than a minute.
Q. Will I be asleep?
A. There may be moments where you exhibit signs of sleep, but you will be readily roused by verbal commands and non-painful stimuli. You will also maintain your reflexes and your ability to breathe and cough at all times. True sleep requires the use of general anesthetic drugs which are not offered at our office for various reasons including the heightened risk of using these drugs in an office setting and the inability for you to help open your mouth or tap your teeth together when necessary. However, most patients undergoing conscious sedation will not remember most if not all of their appointment due to the potent amnesia effect of the medications that are used.
Q. Will I still need shots in my mouth?
A. If the dental procedure is expected cause pain or bleeding, local anesthetic injections will be given, but they are rarely remembered.
Q. How do you make sure I’m safe while I’m sedated?
A. We use several machines to continuously and periodically monitor your vital signs throughout the entire procedure. These include instruments to measure the level of oxygen in your blood, your pulse, your blood pressure, the presence of carbon dioxide in your breath, and your breathing rate. We also observe you closely to make sure you are safe and comfortable throughout the procedure.
Q. How much does sedation cost?
A. We have come up with a creative solution to minimize sedation costs to our patients, while ensuring that our office is properly compensated. While most anesthesiologists will charge any from $600 to $800 per hour or more, we have decided to limit our billing for sedation services to the first 2 hours of each appointment. This means that after the first two hours, there is no extra charge for being sedated for the remainder of your appointment! The sedation charge will be the same for a 3 hour appointment and a 5 hour appointment. When we do complex surgical and especially restorative dental work, extra time is required to ensure the highest quality outcome. By limiting your cost to the first two hours, we are able to save you a significant amount of money over the remainder of your appointment, while taking our time to make sure your dental treatment is not rushed.
Q. Can I drive from my appointment?
A. No, you must not drive from your appointment, or for the rest of the day. The drugs that are used can cause you to forget where you are and even to fall asleep hours after the appointment is over. For your safety, you must have a driver take you home, and you are not to drive or operate any machinery until the next day.
If you’re ready to smile again, please call us at (630) 466-7445 to request a free sedation consultation.