We offer sedation dentistry only to patients who are medically well – they have already been thoroughly checked out beforehand. At our clinic the preparation is administered by a qualified anaesthetist – a registered specialist with a medical degree plus a post-graduate qualification in anaesthetics.
Unlike during a general anaesthetic in hospital, there are no tubes in your throat; and unlike under a general anaesthetic, you are in a state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness and are able to respond to commands if needed.
But just like during a general anaesthetic, sedation dentistry at Smile Solutions is carried out by a specialist anaesthetist who will constantly monitor you using hospital-grade equipment.
Sedation is appropriate for any dental procedure, whether short or long – from simple fillings to crowns, implants, extractions and more.
The cost of sedation dentistry is additional to the fee for the dental treatment itself. You can expect to pay around $600 per hour of sedation. There’s a minimum of one hour, and the charges are applied in quarter hour increments after that. You can ask your dentist for an estimate of the duration of your sedation dentistry and hence the likely costs.
The good news for Smile Solutions patients is that, because you are being treated by a specialist anaesthetist, you are eligible for a Medicare rebate of about a quarter of the cost.
As with general anaesthetics, the safeguards we put in place make serious side-effects very rare. Some people experience mild drowsiness for up to 24 hours, but this is not typical. We do recommend that the patient doesn’t drive or use public transport immediately afterwards and that they be accompanied home, just as a precaution.
In conjunction with your dentist, the anaesthetist will assess your suitability for sedation dentistry before the procedure; this is done via a detailed medical questionnaire and sometimes a phone consultation before you arrive. At the beginning of your appointment, the anaesthetist will explain the procedure to you in detail. During your consultation, they will answer any questions you might have.
You should not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before your appointment. You can take your usual prescription medications at the times when you would normally have them, even within the fasting period. You can take a small sip of water to swallow any prescription pills up to two hours before sedation. Please check with your anaesthetist about diabetic medications.
You should wear loose, comfortable clothes and avoid one-piece outfits.
After the procedure, you will have a brief recovery period at our clinic, following which you should go straight home to rest and fully recover. As with any sedation or anaesthetic, you will need to avoid driving, walking or taking public transport and an adult should accompany you until you are safely home. In most cases, you can resume your normal life the next day after the sedation.