We understand that undergoing a dental procedure is not always a pleasant experience. Thankfully, there are options that make receiving treatment much more comfortable. Sedation options are an effective way to receive the dental care you need without stress, pain, or anxiety. All it takes is a simple conversation with your dentist to find out if sedation dentistry is the right choice for you.
To begin, your dentist will walk you through your treatment plan and determine if sedation is the right choice for your procedure. For more invasive or lengthy dental procedures, specific types of sedation may be recommended or necessary. Other options are best suited for relieving tension and anxiety.
Next, your dentist will discuss your current health and past health history to make sure sedation is an appropriate option for you. Some health issues may affect your ability to be sedated with your preferred method, such as past drug addiction or the use of certain prescription medications.
An honest conversation with your dentist regarding your specific needs and concerns will help determine which sedation options will work best for you. How deeply do you wish to be sedated? What is making you anxious about your procedure? Do you have a low pain threshold? Your dentist may ask a variety of questions in order to select the appropriate sedation method.
After collecting this information, your dentist will lay out all your available sedation options. They will also let you know of each one’s effects and instructions. With the dentist’s recommendation and your input, we can help you choose the right option for your procedure.
If you are nervous about an upcoming dental procedure or appointment, but want to avoid being deeply sedated, this method of sedation is an ideal option. To begin, your dentist will pump a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen through a nose mask, and once you are directed to do so, you’ll start to breathe through this mask normally.
You’ll feel less nervous, and may experience a “floaty” or “dreamy” feeling as you begin to breathe in the laughing gas. While you may feel slightly disconnected from your surroundings, you will remain awake and aware of what’s going on during your procedure.
One of the main benefits of laughing gas is the minimal side effects, which wear off within a few minutes of the nose mask being removed. Right after treatment, you can drive yourself home and get back to your day-to-day routine without any sedative side-effects.
This method uses a strong pill or liquid sedative that you’ll take about 30-60 minutes before your procedure. As the sedative begins to take effect, you’ll feel tired and groggy, and you may even fall asleep during your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation can trigger “anterograde amnesia,” a very common occurrence that can cause you to forget much of your procedure.
Compared to nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation has more noticeable and prolonged side effects. You will most likely feel groggy well after your appointment, so do not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 4-6 hours. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from our office if you choose oral conscious sedation.
While IV sedation uses the similar medication to that used for oral conscious sedation, it is delivered directly into your bloodstream via an IV. This option will take effect almost immediately after it’s introduced to your bloodstream and will sedate you more deeply than oral conscious sedation.
Many patients fall asleep during their treatment with IV sedation. While you may forget your procedure, you can still be woken up and respond to commands.
After your procedure is complete, you may feel “out of it” for 4-6 hours or longer. You will not be able to drive yourself home after your procedure, so you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from our office on the day of your appointment.
One of the strongest forms of sedation is general anesthesia. This method requires the use of a ventilator to help you breathe, and it will render you completely unconscious — you will not feel anything or remember anything about your procedure.
General anesthesia is usually reserved for the most invasive dental surgeries, such as jaw surgery. Other sedation options can be used for routine dental treatments, such as tooth extractions, dental crowns, and more.
Sedation is used to soothe dental anxiety and alleviate pain during procedures. Many patients suffer from dental anxiety, which can prevent them from getting the dental care they need. If coming to the dentist makes you feel anxious or nervous, sedation can help you feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed during your treatment.
Sedation also helps mitigate pain and discomfort during more invasive procedures, such as oral surgeries, tooth extractions, and dental implant placement. If you require multiple dental procedures and need to sit still for several hours during treatment, sedation can help you feel comfortable and calm.
Most patients are good candidates for sedation dentistry, but it is important to share your current health and past health history with your dentist to make sure sedation is appropriate for you. If you have a history of drug abuse, or are taking medications that may interfere with the sedation process, sedation dentistry may not be a suitable option. Reach out to our team to learn more about sedation, and to get the conversation started.
Each method of sedation feels different, so it depends on which option you choose. Laughing gas keeps you fully conscious and aware of your surroundings. You will feel light-headed, giggly, and relaxed while feeling less discomfort during treatment.
Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation will most likely cause you to fall asleep and forget most of your procedure. However, you will not be unconscious, and you can still be woken and respond to commands. Feeling groggy and “out of it” are common side effects.
The deepest method of sedation is general anesthesia. You will be completely unconscious and will not feel or remember anything from your procedure.
Yes. Sedation dentistry is provided by qualified professionals at our office who are specially trained to administer all available options. While oral conscious sedation and IV sedation have more prolonged side effects compared to laughing gas, they are still very safe. As long as you are a good candidate, sedation will have no serious risks to your health or well-being.