Sedation dentistry is a tool used by dentists and dental specialists to help patients feel more relaxed during procedures. It can help make invasive procedures easier to tolerate and even reduce the amount of local anesthesia that is needed. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful for patients who experience dental anxiety.
If you’re considering sedation options for an upcoming dental procedure, you may be wondering how it works and what to expect. Here’s an overview of the various types of sedation and how they work.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the term used to describe the use of medically induced relaxation techniques during dental procedures. Local anesthesia is often used in dentistry to numb the area being treated so the patient will not feel any pain. But when local anesthesia is not enough to help the patient feel fully relaxed, sedation may be recommended.
Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry
There are a few different types of sedation that may be used during dental procedures:
- Nitrous oxide. Administered through a mask worn over the nose, nitrous oxide provides a calm, relaxed feeling. The patient simply breathes in and out through their nose as the nitrous oxide takes effect. Patients often describe a euphoric feeling with tingling fingers and toes and a heaviness in their limbs. The patient is fully conscious, but relaxed. Nitrous oxide takes effect quickly and wears off just as quickly, in a matter of minutes.
- Conscious oral sedation. An oral sedative can be prescribed in pill or liquid form that the patient is instructed to take before arriving for their appointment. As it takes effect the patient may feel sleepy or groggy. They will remain conscious for the entire procedure but may not remember much afterwards.
- IV sedation. Intravenous sedation is a medication that is administered directly into the bloodstream. The patient will be conscious but unaware of their surroundings. They may even feel as if they are asleep, but they are still responsive. IV sedation may be used for more invasive procedures.
Which Type of Sedation is Best for Me?
If you are feeling nervous or anxious about a dental procedure, sedation dentistry may help reduce your stress. The type of sedation that would work best for you may depend on the procedure you are having and your personal preferences.
Nitrous oxide is the mildest form of sedation available. It wears off quickly afterwards, allowing you to resume your regular daily activities if you feel up to it. You can even drive yourself home in most cases.
Conscious oral sedation and IV sedation both require you to have a loved one or trusted friend drive you to and from your appointment. Both forms of sedation take a few hours to wear off completely. It is usually best to rest at home for the remainder of the day after these types of sedation.
Elite Endodontics of NH Provides Sedation Dentistry
If you’re in need of an endodontic procedure, such as a root canal or endodontic surgery, sedation may be recommended or even requested by you. Feeling nervous or anxious about a dental procedure is normal, but you don’t have to feel this way. Sedation can help you relax and have a stress-free experience. While under sedation, patients often feel as if the time passes more quickly. Next thing you know you’re resting at home or moving on with your daily activities.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.