Many people, who undergo serious dental work, oftentimes need dental sedation. While many patients feel nervous about the procedure, dental sedation actually helps in regulating anxiety and makes the patient feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair. It is a necessary procedure that allows the dentist to perform the medical protocol with ease.
Before jumping into this treatment, there are some essential things that you should know. From the different types of sedation to its potential risks, this article details the important aspects to consider while preparing for dental sedation.
What Is Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation is a popular and safe solution for those who experience dental anxiety or who want a more relaxed experience during a dental procedure. For safe and pain free dentistry, it’s crucial to go to a dentist with invaluable experienced on sedation, as safety is paramount when putting a patient under.
At its most basic, a mild sedative will be administered to the patient prior to their dental treatment. This allows you to relax without pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. While under dental sedation, you’ll be awake; however, you will not feel sensations on your oral cavity for a certain period of time. The effects vary depending on your individual needs. Still, they can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the type of sedation used.
Sedatives are not to be confused with anesthetics. There is a widespread misperception that these two different medications are similar. While anesthetics dull your senses to the point where you are unaware of discomfort during certain procedures, sedatives are used to relax patients.
With this pain-free approach, having regular checkups could become much less intimidating.
Types of Dental Sedation
Dental sedation can be used for a wide range of procedures, from simple cleaning to major oral surgery. Understanding the various types of dental sedatives available can help you decide which one is best for you. Dental sedatives can be administered in different ways.
- Oral Sedative: It involves taking a pill (usually Valium) prior to your dental treatment. It works quickly, usually within 15 to 20 minutes. While it provides mild to moderate relaxation, it isn’t strong enough for lengthy and more complex procedures.
- IV Sedative: This type of sedation is given intravenously and can provide a deeper level of relaxation than oral sedatives. It’s mainly used for longer, more complicated treatments such as wisdom tooth removal or the placement of dental implants.
- Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): This type of sedation is breathed in through a small mask during dental treatment. It can provide mild to moderate relaxation and often wears off quickly once the mask is removed.
- General Anesthesia: General anesthesia involves being completely unconscious during your dental procedure and requires the assistance of an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. This type of sedation is used for longer and more extensive treatments such as wisdom tooth removal or multiple dental implant placements.
Knowing the different types of dental sedation and their various benefits can help you decide which procedure is better suited for you. Talk to your dentist about your options and ask any questions you may have before your appointment.
How To Prepare For Dental Sedation
If you have opted for dental sedation, it is crucial to prepare for the procedure adequately. Here are some tips to help ensure that your experience with dental sedation goes as smoothly as possible.
- Schedule an appointment. Make a consultation before dental sedation so that a medical professional can assess your health and suitability for the procedure.
- Provide your medical history. Make sure to inform your dentist of any medications, allergies, or pre-existing medical conditions that you may have prior to undergoing dental sedation. This helps the dentist determine which type of sedation is right for you.
- Follow instructions. Once the type of sedation has been determined, follow your dentist’s instructions. This may involve fasting before the procedure or avoiding certain medications before sedation.
- Arrange for transportation. Remember to bring somebody with you or arrange for pick-up after the procedure. You will need help driving back home after your appointment as sedatives can leave you feeling drowsy.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Make sure to wear a comfortable attire on the day of your procedure, as you may be required to lie down for some time while under sedation.
It doesn’t matter if you visit the dentist for regular dental cleaning, wisdom tooth extraction, jaw alignment, or surgery. These simple steps can help ensure that your experience with dental sedation is pleasant and successful.
How Long Does The Effects Of Dental Sedation Last
You may be wondering how long the effects of dental sedation last. Depending on the type of sedative used, it can typically take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for your body to return to its normal state. Mild sedatives can wear off within a few hours, but deeper forms of sedation may take up to 24 hours.
You must remember that everyone responds differently to sedatives, so make sure that your dentist knows if you’re particularly sensitive before undergoing treatment.
You should also be aware of potential after-effects like drowsiness and fatigue, which can linger throughout the day after your appointment.
Risks And Side Effects Associated With Dental Sedation
It’s also important to remember that with any type of medical procedure, there is always a risk involved, even if it is considered minor. For this reason, you want to make sure that you are in perfect health before going under dental sedation.
Discuss all possible risks with your dentist so that you feel comfortable and safe before going under. It’s always best to be as prepared and informed as possible so that you can be aware of all potential risks before going under sedation.
That being said, the risks and side effects associated with dental sedation are relatively minor but still possible. These include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and drowsiness after the sedation wears off. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to the drugs used during dental sedation may occur. By informing your dentist about your medical history, they can avoid using medicine that you could be allergic to.
You may also experience some memory loss after being sedated. This can be expected and is usually only temporary, but it might affect how much you remember about your dental appointment. Be sure to follow up with your dentist on what was done during the visit. You can also ask questions to ensure that everything has been taken care of properly.
If you want a safe, relaxed, and less painful dental experience, then sedation may be for you. Going under dental sedation can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right information, preparation, and trust in your dentist, you can go to your appointment confident and relaxed. If you have concerns about going under dental sedation, speak to your dentist before the procedure so they can address them.