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Sedation Dentistry

Recognized as The Best Sedation Practice in Richmond by Richmond Magazine, Midlothian Family Dentistry’s expertise in Sedation Dentistry offers patients a customizable approach to sedation services. We provide sedation for pediatric patients, adolescents, adults, special needs patients and the elderly. From traditional Nitrous Oxide and Oral Conscious Sedation to non-hospital based General Sedation, we can provide the appropriate level of sedation to meet your needs. Having control over your sedation preferences means you can have more productive dental procedures with fewer office visits.

Sedation Resources

Care & Treatment

We take sedation very seriously. Each of our staff members is required to complete ongoing Sedation Certification, regardless of their position here in the practice. Every sedation patient is continually monitored and attended to by a minimum of two sedation certified assistants, in addition to the doctor. Our partner, Anesthesia Connections, provides a team of medical anesthesiologists who meet regularly with our attending dentists to review and plan for all General/IV sedation procedures, ensuring seamless communication surrounding your care. And your personal treatment coordinator handles all of your insurance and medical paperwork for you.

We’ll provide Swedish foam pillows, soft cozy blankets, satellite radio for your choice of relaxing music, and low-level lighting so you can relax and enjoy your visit!

Sedation Types

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly referred to as "laughing gas", Nitrous Oxide – or N2O – is the lightest form of sedation used. The main benefit of N2O is that its effects diminish quickly, which means there are no long-lasting side effects. You can even drive yourself to and from your appointment! Administered via a small nose hood, most patients tolerate N20 well without any complications.

Oral Conscious Sedation

If you prefer a more moderate sedation, consider Oral Conscious Sedation, or OCS. OCS is a deeper level of sedation that involves taking a small pill just prior to your appointment, which is then augmented during your procedure with additional sedatives. Because this is a more moderate level of sedation, most patients report they have little or no memory of their visit. This level of sedation requires that you refrain from eating 8 hours prior to your appointment and that you have a driver who will be responsible for driving you to and from our office. You’ll also need to plan for taking the rest of the day to fully recover from the sedatives before returning to your normal routine.

General / IV Sedation

For those patients who wish to be completely sedated for their procedure, we offer complete ‘deep’ General Intravenous Sedation services. Commonly referred to as general or ‘IV’ sedation, this level of sedation is administered by a team of medical anesthesiologists from Anesthesia Connections, a Richmond-based anesthesiology practice that delivers non-hospital based anesthesia across Virginia. MFD is the only general dental practice in the Richmond area and one of only four general dental practices throughout Virginia that partners with Anesthesia Connections to provide this service. In addition to being IV sedation certified, both Dr. Sorenson and Dr. Monacell work in tandem with Anesthesia Connections’ anesthesiologists to ensure every aspect of your IV sedation appointment is managed to our exacting standard of care for maximum safety, efficacy and efficiency.

Sedation FAQs

How safe is sedation?

Historically, the use of anesthetics in dentistry dates to the mid-1800s, with the discovery of Nitrous Oxide and other gasses. Advancing throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modern day anesthetics is well-recognized for dental applications and is administered by safe, efficacious means. We take Sedation Dentistry seriously. Each staff member, whether in clinical or administrative roles, is required to undergo sedation training and certification. We build redundancy in our staffing too, with both Dr. Sorenson and Dr. Monacell gaining IV Sedation certification, while using a team of qualified medical anesthesiologists who deliver anesthesia during IV sedation procedures. No patient is ever left unattended at any time while under any level of sedation, no matter how light or ‘routine’ the procedure.

Will I be awake during my procedure?

Yes, with the exception of moderate and deep IV sedation procedures. During Nitrous Oxide and Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS) procedures, you should expect to experience a relaxed, dream-like state, but still be able to communicate with the doctor and staff. In most cases, patients who undergo OCS have no memory of their visit. For IV sedation, our team of anesthesiologists and dentists meet to discuss the appropriate level of sedation for each individual, resulting in the right amount and duration of sedation that’s appropriate for your unique case.

How much does sedation cost?

Because we recognize that dental anxiety is the number one reason people avoid having their dental needs met, we price our sedation services so they will not be a burden to the overall cost of your treatment. Nitrous Oxide is priced according to the length of your procedure. Oral Conscious Sedation is priced as a single fee, regardless of the amount of medicaments or duration of your procedure. For IV sedation cases, we charge a nominal supply fee to cover our costs of providing patient specific disposables, while the medical anesthesiologists from Anesthesia Connections bill their services for the medicaments used and length of surgical time, as is usual and customary for conventional anesthesia services. Because of their unique business model, AC offers significantly reduced fees for hospital-based services. Your Treatment Coordinator will review your sedation requirements in detail with you ahead of your appointment so you’ll have a complete explanation of the charges you can expect.

Is sedation covered by my insurance provider?

Most dental benefit providers do not provide reimbursement for sedation services. However, your medical insurance provider may cover a portion of your sedation costs. Neither Midlothian Family Dentistry nor Anesthesia Connections can file to your medical insurance provider for you, but we can assist you with getting the proper forms and documentation in order to make your filing process as easy as possible. We encourage you to check with all of your insurance providers ahead of your sedation consultation appointment so you have some expectation of your provider’s coverage.

Can I drive myself to and from my appointment?

The answer to this often-asked question is… it depends. One of the reasons patients who have low dental anxiety choose Nitrous Oxide sedation is the fact that you can drive yourself to and from your appointment. Generally, you can resume your normal activities relatively quickly after your appointment if you choose this level of sedation for your treatment.

For OCS and IV sedation, we require that a driver bring you to and deliver you from your appointment. We have guest WiFi, snacks and beverages available for their convenience. When choosing these levels of sedation, you should plan on taking the remainder of the day off before resuming your regular schedule. Your doctor and treatment coordinator will review all the details surrounding your sedation procedure at your pre-sedation consultation so you have a thorough understanding of everything regarding your appointment.