Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sedation

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sedation

Did you know that more than 90% of people in the United States alone have cavities? Cavities, along with other dental problems, can be painful to treat. For that reason, dental sedation exists.

But you might be wondering, “What should I expect if I need to be sedated by a dentist near me?” After all, is sedation for dental work safe? What should you expect once you wake up from the procedure?

To start answering these questions, it’s important to first take a look at what sedation really means in the field of dentistry. To start, let’s look closer at the different types of sedation used in dentistry, such as nitrous oxide and even general anesthesia. Let’s also explore how dental sedation can be very beneficial to those who suffer from dental anxiety.

What Is Dental Sedation

Many people feel nervous when visiting the dentist. In severe cases, a person may suffer from dental anxiety or a phobia surrounding visiting the dentist. If a person gets serious anxiety about going to the dentist or even from the thought of going to the dentist, it may be hard for them to actually get to a dental office in the first place.

Or, they may try to avoid going to the dentist completely. This, of course, can be very harmful to one’s dental health. By avoiding the dentist, especially if you already have a serious dental problem, your dental health will only get much worse.

In some cases, you might even develop a tooth infection or abscess, which can wreak serious havoc not only on your mouth but the rest of your body as well. If you are scared of the dentist, the best thing to do is not avoid the dentist but rather find a dentist that can make you comfortable. More often than not, dentists that offer sedation can be very beneficial to those who have dental anxiety.

Being nervous when you need to get dental work done is typically not a great combination. This is one of the reasons why any type of dental sedation may be a good idea. Dental sedation will allow you to keep still so your dentist can perform whatever dental procedure you need.

More than that, people with dental anxiety tend to be most afraid of feeling pain when at the dentist. This may stem from a bad dental experience in the past. Whatever the case, sedation dentistry can make sure that you won’t feel any pain when you’re at the dentist.

There are different types of dental sedation that your dentist may use, which we will explore next.

Types of Dental Sedation You Should Know About

Nitrous oxide is one of the most minimal types of sedation. When your dentist provides you with nitrous oxide, you will still be aware of your surroundings, but you will feel much more relaxed. You will also be much less sensitive to pain.

Nitrous oxide is a good option if your dentist needs to perform a minor dental procedure such as drilling a cavity. Your dentist may also use nitrous oxide on you if you are particularly nervous about other procedures such as teeth cleaning or removing tartar. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas, and you are meant to inhale it via a mask that covers your nose and mouth.

This kind of sedation wears off quickly. For that reason, your dentist will be able to control how much nitrous oxide you are getting. Once you start to inhale the nitrous oxide, you will sense the effects kicking in within about five minutes.

The benefit of nitrous oxide is that after your dental procedure is over, you will be able to drive yourself home. This is because once your dentist provides you with pure oxygen to inhale, the effects of the nitrous oxide will quickly leave your system. You will then be perfectly lucid to drive home.

Most people tolerate nitrous oxide very well without experiencing any side effects. However, as with any drug, some side effects do exist, although they are not very common, and serious side effects are very rare. Side effects tend to happen more often if your dentist accidentally provides you with too much nitrous oxide at once.

Some of the normal side effects you might experience when inhaling nitrous oxide are dizziness and shivering. Some people may also experience fatigue, sweating, or nausea.

Oral Sedation

A very common type of sedation from your general dentist in Oshawa, is oral sedation. Oral sedation generally involves swallowing a pill to calm you down before your dental procedure. As with nitrous oxide, you are generally awake and aware when you use oral sedation.

Even so, you will be much calmer than you would be without oral sedation. You should also be much less sensitive to pain. Halcion is a very common type of pill that people take to experience sedation while at the dentist.

In some cases, if you are sedated orally, you may become so tired as the dentist operates on you that you may fall asleep. If you do fall asleep, the slumber is generally very light, and your dentist will be able to easily wake you up if necessary. The effects of your sedation will generally depend on what dose you take.

If you need to get a more serious dental procedure done, it may be best to take a larger dose of oral sedation. Depending on the dose you take, and how long it takes to wear off, you may or may not need someone to drive you home. When you first take the pill for sedation, you may need to wait several minutes or even an hour for it to kick in, so be sure to plan ahead.

IV Sedation and General Anesthesia

IV sedation and general anesthesia are more serious types of dental sedation. Usually, your dentist will reserve them for more serious dental procedures such as root canals or oral surgery. The benefit of IV sedation is that it starts working almost instantly, unlike oral sedation, which you may need to wait some time for before it works.

Your dentist will also be able to control the IV sedative so the dosage won’t become too light or too heavy. IV sedation is considered a moderate type of sedation which means that you will still be conscious during the procedure. Even so, you may not remember much of the procedure once you wake up.

General anesthesia is the heaviest type of sedation you can choose, and it involves being completely unconscious. Your dentist will not be able to shake you awake from this kind of unconsciousness. Instead, you will have to wait to naturally wake up on your own as the anesthesia wears off.

Since general anesthesia is a very strong sedative and because it lasts a while, you should have someone to drive you home after your procedure. Only dentists who have finished the Commission on Dental Accreditation program for general anesthesia are allowed to provide you with general anesthesia. They are specially trained to deliver this type of deep sedation, unlike other dentists.

Some dentists may also use a dentist anesthesiologist if they themselves are not trained to provide anesthesia. If you only need nitrous oxide for your dental procedure, you won’t have to worry too much about your dentist’s accreditations. Most dentists are able to safely provide nitrous oxide as well as oral sedation.

Is Dental Sedation Safe

Many people wonder if dental sedation is safe. The answer is “yes,” as long as your dentist provides the right kind and amount of sedation for you. As mentioned before, nitrous oxide comes with very few and very minor side effects, so you won’t have to worry about this gas being unsafe.

Oral sedation is also very safe. However, you will need to be careful about taking the right dose for your procedure. Taking a large dose of sedation may be unnecessary if you are only going in for minor dental work.

General anesthesia tends to have the most side effects out of any other type of sedation. This is expected since anesthesia is a potent drug required for oral surgery and other serious dental procedures. In general, however, anesthesia is still very safe.

The people who tend to have trouble with it are those who are obese or suffer from sleep apnea.

Everything You Need to Know About Sedation from a Dentist near Me

If you were wondering, “What should I know about sedation from a dentist near me?” you should now know all about it. By knowing about the different types of sedation, you can be much more comfortable and relaxed the next time you have to visit the dentist for a dental procedure.


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