Sedation Dentistry In Folsom: Finally Relax at the Dentist Again

Regular dental care is crucial for having healthy teeth and gums. But for thousands of people in Folsom, Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Granite Bay, Rancho Cordova, and across Northern California, a fear of the dentist can make it very difficult to seek out that crucial dental care.


Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry in Folsom is happy to be able to offer what’s known as “Sedation Dentistry” as a solution to help reduce your dental fears. Sedation dentistry uses gentle, safe medicine that sedates the patient and makes it easier for them to feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. If you’d like to learn more about sedation dentistry, please feel free and call us at any time at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry Phone Number 916-983-6051.

Am I A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?

woman at a dental visitMany people are at least a little nervous when they visit a doctor’s office. It’s been estimated that around 75% of American adults experience some amount of anxiety when visiting a dentist. About 5-15% of those adults experience dentophobia, or a fear of dentists so severe that they often avoid dental visits altogether.

Still, it is critical for everyone to receive at least regular, preventative cleanings and checkups to help improve dental health. Poor oral hygiene has also been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more – meaning the dental care you receive now can prevent other, more serious problems down the road.

Along with behavioral techniques like deep breathing and muscle relaxation, sedation dentistry is a valuable tool for treating patients who are afraid of dental procedures. Ideal candidates for sedation dentistry are people who have:

  • Dental anxiety over visiting the dentist and/or receiving care.
  • Highly sensitive teeth or gums
  • Back or neck pain during dentist visits (from stress)
  • A strong gag reflex
  • Fear of needles or other sharp instruments

While not everyone is a candidate for sedation dentistry, those that are great candidates find that the dental experience is far simpler, more pleasant, and able to get them the oral health benefits they need.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

There are many different types of sedation dentistry, Dr. Skelton, Dr. Chen and Dr. Bernadett will work with your medical history and anxiety levels to decide what is best as a patient. We always do our best to make the entire dental experience – from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave – more comfortable and anxiety-free. But with the methods below, we can make sure that you are relaxed and anxiety-free throughout the procedure, capable of getting the dental care you need.

Options include:

  • Inhaled Minimal Sedation – A mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is administered through a mask to the patient in the dentist’s chair. Our dentists are able to adjust how much sedation you receive throughout the procedure to make you as comfortable as possible. This is the best option for mild to moderate levels of anxiety.
  • Oral Sedation – Drs. Skelton, Chen and Bernadett prescribe pills for you to take at home the night before and an hour before the procedure. Since the medicine makes you drowsy, a companion will need to bring you to the dentist’s office and take you home once it’s complete. This is the best option for moderate to severe levels of anxiety.

There is also the option in dental circles for IV Sedation. The appropriate sedative drug is administered into your veins via an IV line. This allows it to work more quickly and can be adjusted more quickly by the dentist according to your needs. This is the best option for very severe levels of anxiety, but not something we offer as it requires hospital level operatory surroundings. If we find that the above solutions are ineffective, we’re happy to refer you to a qualified provider that offers this service.

Each sedation method we offer is safe and wears off in minimal time. We monitor you throughout the procedure to determine if the sedation is at the right amount for your anxiety levels. You’re also always connected to a machine that monitors your heart rate and blood pressure for extra safety as well.

In addition to sedation, depending on the procedure you need, you may also receive a local anesthetic. This will numb the area in your mouth the dentist is working on to prevent you from feeling any pain or discomfort. In many cases, the patient will leave sedation dentistry with little to no memory of the procedure, with cleaner teeth and a happier smile after their dental work is completed.

Sedation Dentistry From the Experts at Esthetic Reflections

Not every dentist office offers sedation dentistry, but Esthetic Reflections is proud to go above and beyond for our patients. Drs. Skelton, Chen and Bernadett have been extensively trained by the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) in safe and effective sedation dentistry, paying special attention to the needs of the patient and making sure it is the most comfortable procedure possible.

Everyone’s fear level is different. If you are someone that has struggled to see the dentist due to a serious fear of dental care, please give us a call at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry Phone Number 916-983-6051. We will gladly inform you of the process, talk to you about your medical history, fears, and needs, and see if this is the right choice for you.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Q: Your website says “Folsom Dentist,” but do you offer sedation dental services to those outside of Folsom?
A: Absolutely. In fact, as one of the only providers of sedation dentistry – and because Dr. Chen is a local award winning dentist – we are routinely visited by those that live in much of the greater Sacramento area, including the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Granite Bay, Rancho Cordova, and more. We have patients as far away as Yuba City and Ione.

Q: What should I do before my visit?
A: Patients receiving inhaled minimal sedation don’t need to do much before their visit. Those receiving oral or IV sedation will need to take medication the night before and/or the morning of their visit. The dentist will advise you according to what medication you’ve been prescribed.

Q: What type of pills are used for oral sedation?
A: The specific medication we use depends on each patient’s medical needs. However, it’s typically a kind of Benzodiazepine, such as Valium or Ativan. These medications are used often to treat anxiety and other conditions where people need a calming effect, and do not require consistent doses nor do they have an addiction risk. They have been studied and refined since the 1960s, so they are very safe and have very little risk of harmful side effects or adverse reactions.

Q: How long does it take for sedation to wear off?
A: Inhaled minimal sedation is the only sedation method you’ll be able to receive at the dentist’s office and then drive yourself home afterward. Oral and IV sedation typically require around 24 hours for all the effects of the drug to leave a patient’s system. Make sure you arrange for a ride to and from the dentist on those days.

Q: Is there a way for me to be fully unconscious during a dental procedure?
A: No, we don’t offer deep sedation/general anesthesia at Esthetic Reflections. We only perform mild to moderate sedation, where the patient is awake and reasonably aware of what’s going on during the procedure but are simply calm throughout it. This is generally sufficient for most of our patients and the procedures we perform, and safer for the patient as well.

Q: Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?
A: It might be. It depends on the insurer and their both dental and healthcare coverage. We are more than happy to do a benefits check to see if insurance might cover your sedation dentistry. We realize that dental phobia is an obstacle for many patients and keep our fees low to serve their needs.

For more information about Sedation Dentistry or to schedule a consultation, please call our Folsom office at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry Phone Number 916-983-6051. We'd love to hear from you!
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