Know Your Dental Sedation Options

Do you feel nervous when it comes to dental work? You are not alone. About 20% of adults have dental anxiety that could interfere with their ability to get the oral health care they need.

Modern dentistry prioritizes the comfort of dental patients, so you can discuss any fears you have with your dentist. They can help you find ways to alleviate this anxiety, including specific medicines known as sedation dentistry.

You can choose from a variety of methods of sedation that will induce a calm feeling as you undergo dental work. Find the right option for you when you talk to your dentist. You can also read on to learn about three types of dental sedation your dentist can offer during your next procedure.

Know Your Dental Sedation Options

Nitrous Oxide

You can choose from several methods of receiving dental sedation to feel calmer and more relaxed in your dentist’s chair. One of the most common treatments is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

To receive this medicine, you breathe it in through a mask over the nose or mouth. Then you immediately start to feel a calm, often euphoric feeling. It will not affect your awareness, so you can still respond to your dentist during the dental work.

When you remove the mask and breathe normally again, the sedation effects will fade quickly. Since this does not impact your consciousness at all, you can resume your daily schedule without worry right away.

Some people may wonder if sedation will block pain during dental work. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to stop you from feeling pain as it blocks nerves directly at the source. This medicine differs from sedation, but they are frequently used together.

Oral Sedation

You can also receive dental sedation by taking an oral tablet. About an hour prior to your dentist appointment, you will swallow the prescribed pill. By the time you reach your dentist’s office, you will feel very relaxed. Some patients even fall asleep during their dental work because of the calm sensation.

At the end of your dental procedure, the effects of oral sedation will continue beyond a dentist’s control. It will take a few hours for the sedation to wear off, and you might feel groggy.

For this reason, you will need to arrange for a lift home from the office after your treatment. You should avoid operating heavy machinery for several hours or according to your dentist’s aftercare guidelines.

IV Sedation

IV sedation refers to a type of sedation medication administered intravenously. Like oral sedation, you can anticipate a deeper level of sedative so that you will likely fall asleep during the dental procedure.

The dentist has more control over this medicine, though, and the relaxing effects begin to fade once the dentist stops delivering it through the IV. However, you will likely still feel some disorientation, so you should schedule a ride home after your treatment.

Because IV often requires an anesthesiologist to administer the sedation, dentists reserve this type of medicine for more invasive or extensive treatments, like dental implant surgery. Or patients with extreme levels of anxiety might need IV sedation.