Painless Dentistry Treatments

The American Dental Association recommends going to the dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups. For some people, making two trips to the dentist is difficult because of the anxiety they have to deal with when they go to the dentist.

These days, if you get nervous about going to the dentist, one of the alternatives you can opt for is painless dentistry. Which is also referred to as sedation dentistry.

How does painless dentistry work?

The process involves your dentist using medication that will help you relax while you are getting a procedure done. It can be used for both serious procedures and routine procedures like teeth cleaning.

Does the medication knock you out?

No, sedation dentistry does not make you fully unconscious, the medication simply keeps you relaxed for a short amount of time. When your dentist uses strong sedatives, you will come close to being unconscious and will not remember much about the procedure. But you will still be conscious.

If your dentist has to use a general anesthetic, it means you have to undergo a serious dental procedure which will need you to be unconscious.

What type of medication is used for treatment?

There are three different levels of medication used in sedation dentistry: Minimal medication, moderate medication and deep medication.

  • Minimal medication involves the use of nitrous oxide to help you relax during a procedure. The gas is inhaled with the use of a gas mask and the amount used by your dentist depends on the time it will take to get the treatment done. The gas wears off quickly, allowing you to go on with your day.
  • Moderate medication involves the use of stronger medication to keep you relaxed during your treatment. The side effects of this medication include grogginess and slurred speech.
  • Deep medication is the closest you get to being completely unconscious and it is reserved for procedures that will take a long time. The medication used will leave you drowsy for a while so make sure you have someone to drive you home after the procedure is finished.

What are the benefits?

One of the reasons people who have a fear of going to the dentist prefer painless dentistry is the fact that it feels like the procedure did not take long, even though it might take hours in some cases. It also helps people that are anxious about going to the dentist less anxious because they know they can relax during their procedure.

Will my insurance cover it?

Insurance companies generally don’t cover sedation, but some companies cover it if you are having a major procedure done. The insurance usually pays for the sedation if you get all the work done in one visit.

How expensive is painless dentistry

The price you pay for sedation depends on the type of sedative used by your dentist and the amount of time your procedure takes.


Painless dentistry allows people with a fear of going to the dentist to relax when they go in for their regular checkups and other dental procedures. If you get anxious about seeing a dentist, you should consider getting sedated during your next visit.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Sedation and Implant Center at (805) 920-2133 for an appointment in our Santa Barbara office.

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