A Guide to Sedation Dentistry

Posted by G2 Anesthesia Services Inc. Dec 29, 2022

Do you feel anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist? If so, you're not alone. Dental phobia is a fear of dental work that causes people to avoid going to the dentist. There are many different levels of sedation available, and your dentist will be able to determine which is most appropriate for you. Some patients only need a mild sedative to take the pill the night before their appointment. Other patients may need a deeper level of sedation that is administered through a mask that they wear while they sleep. 

Your dentist will inform you of the possible side effects as well. For example, some patients may become groggy or experience a headache after taking oral conscious sedation. However, you will not feel any pain or discomfort during your procedure. Overall, the purpose of sedation dentistry is to make the patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible during their treatment. 

Nitrous Oxide

Many patients find nitrous oxide to be the most soothing type of sedation dentistry, especially for mild cases of dental anxiety. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the gas stops being administered, so you are free to drive yourself home and return to your day without feeling groggy or disoriented.

In addition to helping patients relax and overcome their fear of the dentist, nitrous oxide has many pain management benefits as well. The effects of the sedative are strong enough to offset any discomfort you may feel during a procedure, including needle pain from injections or the anesthetic shot. Nitrous oxide also helps patients manage pain and swelling, which can often be uncomfortable and even painful following dental treatments.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation involves taking a small pill, usually Halcion, an hour before your procedure. The medication works quickly to relax you and make you drowsy. You won't feel any pain during your appointment because you'll be completely relaxed!

You'll still be awake and able to respond to the dentist's instructions. However, most patients don't remember the procedure at all. This option is great for patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety or fear. It's also ideal for longer procedures like dental implant placement.

If you opt for oral conscious sedation, you'll need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to your appointment. You'll need a ride home, too, so be sure to schedule your procedure during a time when you don't have other obligations. Once you're back home, you should be able to resume your normal activities. You may experience some lingering drowsiness from the medication, so you'll have to make sure to take the rest of the day off to rest.

IV Conscious Sedation

During the procedure, you will remain awake and able to respond to the dentist as needed. However, the sedation medication will relax you enough throughout the appointment to make the procedure virtually painless. Your dentist will give you the sedation medication through an intravenous injection at the dental office to ensure your safety. Most patients report feeling very relaxed, and even some doze off during the procedure.

Visit G2 Anesthesia Services Inc. in Louisville, KY, or call (833) 336-8482 to consult our dentist today to see how sedation dentistry can change your dental experience.

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