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Dental Sedation: What Does It Feel Like?

If you are afraid of visiting the dentist then you may benefit from sedation, but what exactly can you expect from it? In this post, our Langley dentists share some information about dental sedation and what it feels like.

What is dental sedation and what is it used for?

Dental sedation uses medication, usually taken orally or inhaled, to help patients relax during dental appointments and can be especially useful during long or more invasive procedures such as tooth extractions. There are normally three different types of sedation: oral, nitrous oxide, and IV. At Redwoods Dental, we, unfortunately, do not offer sedation. We do, however, feel it necessary to enlighten all our patients on as many aspects of dentistry as possible.

Sedation may be helpful for patients who are extremely anxious about dental procedures, need complicated treatment, or have a strong gag reflex. Your dentist will examine your medical history before suggesting sedation to make sure you are in good enough health.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a gas that can be inhaled to help relieve stress and anxiety. Because everyone is different, the gas levels can be easily adjusted throughout your appointment to meet your needs.

What is oral sedation?

Oral sedatives are available as liquids or pills. These medications can be taken the night before an appointment to help you sleep better, or one hour before to help you relax before and during treatment.

What is IV sedation?

Intravenous sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care or "twilight sleep," is a type of anesthesia that helps a patient relax by inserting an intravenous (IV) catheter into a vein. With the exception of those under general anesthesia, patients are usually awake during the procedure.

What does it feel like when you are under dental sedation?

Dental sedation is a technique for easing the fear and discomfort related to dental procedures. No matter how sleepy you are, you will remain awake and able to interact with your dentist and follow instructions throughout your procedure. If you do doze off, a light shake should shake you out of it.

With conscious oral sedation, typically, patients have little recollection of the procedure. After being sedated with oral sedation, many patients report having a conscious dream. Oral sedation usually allows for a faster recovery than general anesthesia.

Our team will monitor you during your treatment to ensure your safety at all times.

Am I able to drive after dental sedation?

A trusted friend or family member should drive you to and from your sedation appointment. Although sedation is only temporary, you may be drowsy enough to drive. Because oral sedation can take several hours to leave your system, consult with your dentist about when you can resume driving.

Don't let anxiety or dental phobias keep you from getting the care you need. Our dentists can assist you in choosing between IV or oral sedation for your procedure by determining whether you are a candidate for dental sedation. Keep in mind that nitrous oxide and oral sedation ought to function similarly.

If you would like to learn more about our dental sedation services please contact your Langley dentists.

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