What you need to know when selecting a cosmetic dentist of a sedation dentist. First what do each type of these dentists do different from a general dentist?
If you are interested in improving your smile, you are looking for a local cosmetic dentist. They perform the following services: porcelain veneers or laminates, crowns or caps, tooth reshaping, teeth whitening or bleaching, bonding, dental bridges, dental implants, or gum removal due to gingivitis.
Whitening/bleaching of teeth is the most common procedure performed by cosmetic dentists. Bonding is a common process performed by cosmetic dentist when an enamel-like dental material is applied to a tooth, sculpted to the appropriate shape and left to harden, and then polished. Dental bridges are fused porcelain crowns used to fill the gap of a missing tooth and attached to teeth on either side of the false tooth – these bridges are fixed and cannot be removed.
Going to a local sedation dentist is an ideal option for people that are nervous about going to the dentist. In many cases this level of nervousness can range from a low level of anxiety to a phobia. A sedation dentist gives a form of anesthesia where the patient is sedated while they receive anxiety-free dental care. Sedative drugs such as tranquilizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications can be administered in the form of an IV. This medication creates a comfortable dental experience -so comfortable that most patients do not even remember undergoing their dental treatment. When receiving dental treatment under sedation, the procedure is pain free and comfortable. Patients often feel that a procedure that really takes hours feels like just a few minutes of time. Unlike general anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, with dental sedation the patient maintains a level of consciousness for safety’s sake.
If you prefer not to have an IV administrated, there are other forms of sedation such as inhaling nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” where the patient experiences some degree of relaxation, or oral sedation. If you opt for an oral sedative (such as Ativan, Valium, Halcion, or Xanax), it is prescribed by your dentist prior to a dental appointment. The downside of oral sedation is that you cannot drive yourself to your dental appointment due to side effects of the mediation; you must have someone drive you. You will need to check with your dental insurance to determine if they pay for sedation dentistry. Some forms of dental insurance will pay only for non-intravenous sedation procedures.
When looking for a cosmetic dentist or a sedation dentist, the best form of reference you can obtain is from current patients. You can also check with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or relatives to see if they have been a cosmetic or sedation dentist and their option of their treatment. If your dentist does not perform these services, ask him for a referral to a dentist that does. Another method of selecting a dentist is checking with formal organizations such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AAD).