If dental procedures make you a little (or very) nervous, you may have thought about asking your dentist if sedation is right for you. Certainly, sedation has the potential to make it much easier for you to get through your procedures, whether you are undergoing a routine treatment or a complex oral surgery. Still, you may want to know more before you talk to your dental team about this provision. Below, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves the use of medications that induce feelings of relaxation and well-being. It is carefully administered to ensure patient safety, and it can be used during almost any dental procedure or oral surgery.
What Types of Sedation Are Available?
Some popular types of sedation include:
- Nitrous oxide. This is a gas that, when inhaled, creates feelings of happiness and relaxation. It is one of the mildest types of sedation.
- Oral conscious sedation. This involves the use of a pill that makes patients feel relaxed. It also common has short-term amnesia as a side effect, meaning that patients do not typically remember their appointment.
- IV sedation. Medications are administered intravenously. This is a powerful type of sedation that is reserved for complex or serious cases.
- General anesthesia. In rare cases, it is necessary to make a patient unconscious during their dental surgery.
What Does it Feel Like to Be Sedated?
Different medications can induce different feelings. For example, nitrous oxide is often referred to as “laughing gas” because it makes some people feel giddy. IV sedation can induce sleepiness and might even make patients feel like they are unconscious, though they remain alert enough to respond to their dental team’s questions and requests.
Is Sedation Safe?
When it is properly administered, sedation dentistry is generally safe. Before approving you for it, your oral surgeon or dentist will thoroughly screen you for any medical conditions that could make sedation risky for you. Patients are closely monitored while under the influence of sedative medications.
As sedation wears off, some patients experience side effects like grogginess or a headache. These issues are usually mild and tend to dissipate rather quickly.
Who Is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Nervousness or fear about dental procedures may mean you are a candidate for sedation dentistry. Other indications include:
- A sensitive gag reflex
- The need to undergo multiple or complex procedure at the same time
- Medical conditions that make it difficult to sit still for a long period of time
- Difficulty getting numb with local anesthesia
Sedation dentistry might just change the way you think about oral care. Why not talk to your local care provider to learn more about it?
Meet the Practice
Dr. Steve Koo and his colleagues at Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery place a high priority on patient comfort. Our practice proudly offers multiple types of sedation, including IV sedation and general anesthesia. To learn more about how we may be able to help you relax during your next oral surgery, contact us at 713-783-5560.