If you get anxious every time you go to the dentist, then dental sedation is the perfect option for you. But if you may wonder what it feels like to be sedated and what kind of sedation do dentists use?
To get you more at ease, we’ve listed down the kinds of sedation that dentists use.
But first thing first, what is sleep dentistry?
Sleep dentistry, or Conscious sedation, is a procedure in which the dentist uses a sedative to help you relax during your dental appointment. The dentist may use oral, gas, or IV sedatives that reduce pain sensitivity and anxiety. This results in a pleasant dental visit, regardless of any past anxiety or fear around the procedure.
Kinds of Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, or more commonly known as laughing gas, is used to relax patients during a procedure. You’ll be conscious while taking laughing gas. And it will likely wear off once you stop breathing it in. Patients who only receive laughing gas as a sedative usually can drive themselves home after a procedure.
Your dentist will give you a nose apparatus through which you breathe the gas. Its effects are mild and quick. You’ll start to feel the gas as soon as you start breathing it in. Some people relax enough with laughing gas and do not require another type of sedation. Others need laughing gas with oral sedation.
Oral sedation is often called conscious sedation. It involves you taking a prescribed dose of sedative just before your procedure. This type of sedation leaves you awake but significantly makes you relax. This type of sedation is most beneficial for patients with higher levels of anxiety.
Though this sedation doesn’t cause sleep, most patients remember very little to no memories of the procedure. Depending on your case, your dentist may monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Or you may not need that kind of monitoring. It depends on factors determined by your dentist. The sedative will likely make you sleep, but the next day all of its effects will wear off. It’s better to have someone drive you home, so plan with a friend or family member in advance.
IV sedation has a few types. The first is known as “twilight.” Twilight IV sedation makes you feel sleepy, but you’ll be conscious. You may not remember any of the procedure once it’s done. However, you won’t be unconscious, and it’s possible to wake you up if you fell asleep.
The other option is general anesthesia, which is relatively uncommon in sleep dentistry. Only patients who require major oral surgery or resistant to other types of sedation will receive general anesthesia. It makes you totally unconscious. This sedation needs to happen in a hospital or a specialized clinic under the supervision of anesthetists.
Who needs Sedation Dentistry?
Talk to your dentist about your concern before the procedure. Your dentist will recommend the type of sedation that will help in your particular case. Sometimes patients with sensitive nerves or small mouths need sedation. While others with anxieties and fears require sedation dentistry.