What’s sedation dentistry and how does it work?

Sedation dentistry is a great option for people who are nervous or anxious about going to the dentist. It’s a very safe and effective way of making you feel comfortable while you’re getting dental work done.

Sedation dentistry is a form of dental treatment that involves the administration of sedatives to relax the patient during a dental procedure. Sedation dentistry is also known as conscious sedation or twilight sedation. Sedation dentistry is a way for patients to relax during their dental treatments. Usually, sedation dentistry is achieved through the use of sedatives like nitrous oxide, laughing gas, and oral conscious sedatives.

Sedation dentistry can help patients of all ages who have a variety of dental fears. For example, if you have a fear of needles or if you don’t like pain, sedation dentistry can be perfect for you.

When you may need sedation?

If you fall into any of the below-mentioned categories of patients, your dentist may recommend sedation before your dental treatment:

  • Patients who are anxious about dental treatments & procedures.
  • Patients who are scared of visiting the dentist.
  • People who are anxious and afraid of needles (aichmophobia).
  • People who have feelings of claustrophobia while in the dental chair.
  • People who have decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia.

Is sedation dentistry safe for patients?

Yes, sedation dentistry is safe for most people. Sedation dentistry is a great way to make your dental treatments more comfortable and can be used for a variety of dental procedures like fillings, extractions, and cleanings. Sedation is designed to make you completely relaxed, so you won’t feel any pain or anxiety.

How is the sedation procedure administered by the dentists?

There are a number of different sedation dentistry options available to patients, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.

The most common sedation procedure used by dentists is called a laughing gas, which is administered through a nasal mask. At the dentist’s office, you will be asked to breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. The gases used during sedation are a combination of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen.

Oral sedatives are taken 1-2 hours before the dental appointment and the patient may feel drowsy for about 2-4 hours.

IV sedation is typically used for more invasive procedures like crowns or root canals.

FAQs related to the sedation:

When can I resume driving?
If you had nitrous oxide, you are free to go and start driving immediately after your dental treatment however in other cases (IV & Oral sedation), it may take 12-24 hours for you to start driving.

How much time it takes to recover?
The recovery time depends on the type of sedation administered by your dentist. In general, those who have nitrous oxide typically recover within 30 minutes with no headache or nausea. Others may take 24 hours for a full recovery.

Can I go to work or school after sedation?
In case of oral and IV sedation, you may feel drowsy so it’s always advised to resume your normal routine after 12-24 hours only. However, in the case of nitrous oxide gas, you may be allowed to resume your work immediately after your treatment. The exact recovery time will be shared by your dentist only.

How soon can I start eating?
You may be required to wait for a few hours for the anesthesia to wear off after which you can start eating or drinking. Usually, the dentists recommend starting with something light like a liquid, and progressing to a smoothie or shake.

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