Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? Answers to Common Questions
Sedation dentistry is a strategy that makes dental procedures easier to tolerate. Patients of all ages can lay back and relax while dental work is completed with little to no discomfort.
Before you decide whether or not sedation would be beneficial for you or your child and what type would be best, you likely have some questions. Is sedation dentistry safe? What are the different types of sedation available? Learn the answers to these questions and more about sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of medically induced relaxation techniques during dental procedures. Sedation may be used in a variety of situations, such as helping an anxious patient feel more relaxed before, during, and after dental work. It can also help to make procedures that are complex, invasive, or lengthy easier on patients.
What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?
There are a few different types of sedation commonly used in dentistry:
- Nitrous oxide. A mask is placed over your nose that delivers nitrous oxide, a special combination of gasses that provide a calm, relaxed feeling. As you breathe in the nitrous oxide your arms and legs may begin to feel heavy and you may feel a tingling sensation in your fingers and toes. Nitrous oxide takes effect in a matter of minutes and wears off just as quickly, allowing you to resume your regular daily activities, including driving.
- Conscious oral sedation. An oral sedative can be prescribed for you to take before your procedure. You will be instructed to take it up to an hour prior to your appointment so that it has time to take effect. It typically makes you feel sleepy or groggy and you may not remember much about your procedure afterwards. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment if you have taken, or are planning to take, an oral sedative.
- IV sedation. A sedative can be administered intravenously at the start of your procedure that provides a deeper level of sedation. You may feel as if you are asleep because you are completely unaware of what is going on around you, but you are technically conscious and responsive. You will need someone to drive you home from your appointment if you are having IV sedation.
How Safe is Sedation Dentistry?
All forms of sedation dentistry are safe for most patients. Unless you have a medical condition that would interfere with the use of some forms of anesthesia, there should be no reason to be concerned about sedation. A complete medical history and list of all of the medications you are currently taking will need to be gathered before any form of sedation is administered. Nitrous oxide is generally considered to be the safest form of sedation as it wears off quickly and has minimal side effects.
What Type of Sedation is Right For Me?
The right type of sedation often depends on the situation. For a minor or minimally invasive procedure, sedation may not even be necessary, as local anesthesia can numb the area to prevent you from feeling any pain. For anxiety, nitrous oxide is typically effective. If a patient has a respiratory condition that prevents the use of nitrous oxide, an oral sedative may be a better choice. For something more invasive, such as oral surgery, IV sedation may be necessary.
Elite Endodontics of NH Offers Sedation Dentistry
Endodontics is a specialization within the field of dentistry that focuses on the health of the teeth from the inside. Endodontic procedures range from non-invasive to minimally invasive. The appropriate type of sedation depends on the procedure and the preference of the patient.
At Elite Endodontics we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible while providing the treatment needed to restore the health of your teeth. We offer a range of sedation options to make your experience relaxing and stress-free.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment.