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Dental Anxiety and Sedation Dentistry – Jacksonville, FL

Scared of the Dentist? We’re Here to Help

If you have absolutely no desire to ever see Dr. Bradberry, that’s okay. You should tell him—he wouldn’t take it personally. He never does. Dr. Bradberry has plenty of patients who used to avoid him and now they are some of his biggest fans. Why? Because Dr. Bradberry understands that if you’re afraid of all things dental the fear is real. He and his staff want to help you overcome your dental fear and anxiety so you can have the smile you deserve. If you’ve neglected your oral health for too many years because of anxiety, then speak to Dr. Bradberry. We help many patients just like you.

Why Choose North Jacksonville Complete Dentistry for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Experienced & compassionate team
  • Clear, straightforward treatment instructions provided
  • Oral sedation available upon request

Reasons for Dental Anxiety

Everyone seems to have something they’re afraid of—the dark, clowns, heights and enclosed spaces to name only a few. Fear of the dentist is often rooted in a memory. Some people remember a childhood visit to the dentist that was far from fun or a more recent experience that was unpleasant. Others are uncomfortable being in a medical facility. Regardless of why you’re nervous, Dr. Bradberry can help you relax so he can provide the dental treatment you need, whether that is a basic dental cleaning and exam or a more lengthy and involved procedure.

Comfort and Care

Sometimes patients just need a bit of reassurance and a straightforward explanation about what will happen during their appointment. We take the time to explain everything in detail, so we can help guide patients through the process. In fact, no treatment is needed for the first visit.  You will meet our team, meet Dr. Bradberry, and discuss your desires.  Only if you are comfortable proceeding will we develop a plan that is specific to help you.

Oral Conscious Dental Sedation

For many patients, a mild oral sedative can be very helpful. Dr. Bradberry will prescribe the medication for you to take at a designated time before your appointment. The sedative will begin to take effect within minutes, and you’ll feel calm and maybe a little drowsy. While you are sedated, Dr. Bradberry will be able to complete your dental care. Some patients don’t remember anything after their visit, so they think they’ve been asleep. You do, however, remain awake so you can respond to Dr. Bradberry’s questions and instructions.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Woman preparing to swallow sedative pill

With oral conscious sedation, all you have to do is take a pill shortly before your treatment is set to begin. No needles or face mask are involved! Usually, the medication used for sedation is Valium, Ativan, Halcion, or a similar prescription. Within about 15 minutes of taking the pill, you should start to feel its effects, which are likely to last for at least several hours. You can expect an easy and relaxing treatment experience.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Relaxed dental patient with closed eyes

Because oral conscious sedation is somewhat powerful and has long-lasting effects, you should not drive while under its influence. Be sure to have a trusted friend or family member available to take you to and from your appointment.

The sedative is likely to make you feel drowsy, so you might drift off to sleep. However, it does not cause actual unconsciousness. Our team will keep a close eye on you throughout your treatment to ensure that you are safe. Once the sedative wears off, you are unlikely to remember anything from your appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Dentist and patient having conversation

Oral conscious sedation may be suitable for you if:

  • You struggle with mild to moderate dental fear or anxiety.
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex.
  • You are not easily numbed by local anesthesia.
  • It is difficult for you to sit still in the treatment chair for a long period of time.
  • You need to undergo multiple or complex treatments.
  • You have had traumatic dental care experiences in the past.
  • The sights and sounds within a dental office make you feel uncomfortable.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Smiling patient reclined in dental treatment chair

Most patients who wish to be sedated during treatments are candidates for sedation dentistry. It can help you to cope with anxiety and have an efficient, comfortable dental care experience. It is also great for individuals with a sensitive gag reflex and those who are not easily numbed by local anesthesia.

There are only a few contraindications for sedation. For example, it might not be right for you if you are pregnant or have certain allergies or respiratory conditions.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Illustration of man with dental anxiety

Do you feel anxious or fearful at the idea of going to the dentist? If the answer is “yes” then sedation dentistry could be the solution you’ve been looking for. However, it is important to be well-informed, so we’re here to help. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about sedation dentistry in Jacksonville. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t worry. Give us a call and we’d be happy to address your questions and/or concerns.

Does dental sedation put you to sleep?

Sedation dentistry is sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” but this name is misleading. Sedation dentistry doesn’t actually make you sleep. However, you will be in a relaxed state, so some of your memories of the experience may be fuzzy. It may feel like you were asleep even though you remain conscious the entire treatment. This way, you can respond to questions and verbal instructions.

Does dental sedation make you tell secrets?

Contrary to popular belief, dental sedation is not a “truth serum” like it’s portrayed in movies and TV shows. It is very unlikely that you will reveal any secrets while you are sedated. Even if you do happen to say something that you normally wouldn’t while you are under sedation, you can rest assured that it will be kept within the walls of the dental treatment room.

Can dental sedation make you sick?

With oral conscious sedation, there is a slight risk of nausea. To be safe, your dentist will probably recommend that you don’t eat for a few hours before your procedure. If you have trouble skipping meals, it may be a good idea for you to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning. If you are prone to nausea, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Will I feel any pain with dental sedation?

Depending on the procedure that you are undergoing, your dentist may numb your mouth with a local anesthetic before getting started. This should keep you from experiencing any pain. Sedation dentistry also helps by keeping you awake while suppressing your body’s ability to feel any pain. If anything, you could feel some pressure, but not pain. If there is something that is making you feel uncomfortable during your procedure, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can help.

Is sedation dentistry worth it?

If you have severe dental anxiety or need extensive work done, sedation dentistry can make getting treatment much easier. Putting off the care you need can result in expensive and invasive dental treatments later on, so for many patients, investing in sedation can help with saving money in the long run.

What does it feel like to be sedated at the dentist? 

Of course, what you can expect depends on the type of sedation you receive. Oral conscious sedation will cause you to enter a deep state of relaxation, dissipating all nerves, anxiety, and stress in the process. In fact, you may feel so at ease that you doze off! Don’t worry – we can wake you if necessary. Otherwise, we can continue to work while you sleep peacefully through your procedure.

How long does dental sedation last? 

Typically, the effects of oral conscious sedation last for several hours. For that reason, you need to arrange for a trusted adult to drive you home from your appointment. We also encourage patients to take the rest of the day off and maybe even the following morning if their job involves driving or operating machinery.

Is sedation dentistry safe while breastfeeding?

There is a very low chance of the medication affecting your breast milk. Of course, it’s a conversation you should have with our sedation dentist in Jacksonville. If the treatment isn’t urgent, then we may recommend postponing your appointment – it really depends on your unique dental needs and preferences.

Will I remember anything with dental sedation? 

Dental sedation often results in anterograde amnesia. In other words, you may not remember much about your time in the treatment chair following your appointment. Oftentimes, patients are pleasantly surprised by this since it helps form a more positive association with dental care and creates less stress when it comes time for another visit.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance? 

Although dental plans aren’t exactly the same from patient to patient, they don’t usually include sedation dentistry since it’s considered a “luxury” treatment. With that said, there are some cases where it’s deemed “medically necessary.” If you or a loved one has a disability that makes it extremely difficult to remain still and calm in the treatment chair, then your benefits may cover sedation dentistry. Similarly, if the procedure you need is more complex, like multiple tooth extractions, it may be covered. Ultimately, the best thing to do is read through your plan, call your provider directly, or ask our team for help!

Is sedation dentistry safe while pregnant? 

Since the drugs involved in dental sedation can potentially pass onto the fetus through the placenta, it’s not usually recommended. If the treatment you need can be postponed until after you give birth, then we may take that route. If the treatment you need cannot be postponed, then going with the minimal amount/type possible is ideal. We can also discuss other ways to alleviate your nerves, like explaining every step of the treatment process so you have nothing to fear.