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The Complete Guide to Sedation Dentistry: Everything to Know

The Complete Guide to Sedation Dentistry: Everything to Know

If you feel anxious about visiting the dentist, dental sedation services can help. This guide explains everything to know about sedation dentistry.

Most people aren’t thrilled about a trip to the dentist. For some people, going to the dentist causes a lot of stress or anxiety.

The good news is that many dentists offer dental sedation methods that can help. Thanks to constant innovation in the dental industry, patients can enjoy a more peaceful dental experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, we can help. Here’s your complete guide to how sedation dentistry works.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dentists use sedation dentistry to help calm patients and keep them relaxed during dental procedures. There are various levels of sedation, ranging from minimal sedation to general anesthesia.

Using medications, a sedation dentist can provide minimal, moderate, or deep sedation. The patient is awake but very relaxed during the procedure.

With general anesthesia, the patient is unconscious for the procedure.

Dental Sedation Methods

There are a few types of sedation dentists use. These include:

Inhaled Sedation (Laughing Gas)

The dentist administers nitrous oxide through a mask. The patient breathes in the gas which helps to relax them during the procedure.

Oral Sedation

With oral sedation, the patient takes a pill prior to the procedure that makes them drowsy. They can respond and follow directions but may not remember the procedure once it’s over.

IV Sedation

This type of sedation is administered through the veins. It puts the patient in a deep state of relaxation, and they may be unable to remember the procedure.

General Anesthesia

With general anesthesia, the patient is deeply asleep and remains unconscious throughout the procedure. The patient needs a recovery period as the anesthesia wears off. This method is used for some dental surgeries, including wisdom teeth removal.

Inhaled and oral sedation are the most common dental sedation methods. “Laughing gas” is the only form of sedation where you’re able to drive yourself home afterward. 

With all other forms of sedation, you will need someone to drive you home. Depending on what type of sedation you use, you may need to fast for a few hours before your procedure.

You may need to avoid certain medications that could interfere with the sedation. There’s no need to adjust your medications unless your dentist advises you to do so.

Who Is a Dental Sedation Candidate?

If you have anxiety about visiting the dentist, sedation dentistry may be an option for you. Good candidates include people who:

  • Have sensitive teeth
  • Have difficulty numbing with Novocain
  • Are having multiple procedures at one time
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Need dental surgery but are afraid of being put under anesthesia

Nitrous oxide in small doses is safe for children. This can help calm children with intense dental anxiety or those who refuse to cooperate. Most dentists are qualified to administer nitrous oxide.

Advantages of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry provides an easier way for many patients to receive the dental procedures they need. It helps to ease anxiety and phobias, keeping patients comfortable and calm during dental procedures.

Dentists can often work faster and more efficiently when a patient is relaxed and under sedation. This can result in fewer appointments and a more enjoyable patient experience.

Some people have so much fear of the dentist that they avoid going, even when they need to. Sedation dentistry can help ease these patients’ fears and help them receive the dental care they need.

What Are the Risks?

Sedation dentistry is safe when administered by a healthcare professional. Some possible short-term risks include:

  • Lingering drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Bruising from the IV
  • Headaches

It’s difficult to predict the effects of sedation medications. Rarely, a patient may have an allergic reaction to a medication. Your dentist can provide drugs to counteract an allergic reaction.

Side Effects in Children

Sedation dentistry is safe for children. As a parent, it’s normal to worry when your child takes an unfamiliar medication. 

Side effects are often short-lived, but may include:

  • Fever
  • irritability
  • Snoring
  • Nausea and vomiting

Children can sometimes be slow to wake following sedation. Your dentist will monitor them during and after the procedure until your child is ready to go home.

Pregnancy and Sedation Dentistry 

Typically, dentists do not recommend sedation for patients who are pregnant. Some sedatives may have an effect on fetal development.

In some cases, dentists may use nitrous oxide on patients in their second trimester. Most dentists recommend that women wait until after they give birth before receiving sedation dentistry.

Recovery and Outlook

Recovery times vary depending on the type of sedation you receive and your body’s response to the medication. Generally, people who receive nitrous oxide recover within a few minutes and can drive themselves home.

Patients who receive oral sedation or IV sedation may need 24 hours for a full recovery. You should wait a full day before returning to work or school.

Talk to your dentist about what to expect following your procedure.

Costs of Sedation Dentistry

The costs of sedation dentistry vary depending on the sedation used and the type of dental procedure you’re having. A procedure involving inhaled sedation will be less expensive than one involving general anesthesia.

Sedation Dentist in Monument Colorado

If you’re a bit apprehensive about going to the dentist, you aren’t alone. It’s a common problem people of all ages experience. 

The good news is that many dentists today provide sedative dentistry to make your dental procedure completely stress-free. If you’re looking for a sedation dentist in Monument, Colorado, Advanced Dental & Implant Center would love to assist you.

Dr. Scott Hill would love to talk with you about your dental needs and concerns. Based on your needs, he will offer the best possible options for dental care and treatment.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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New Year New You

20% off on all 
cosmetic services

This includes SureSmile®, veneers, implants, whitening, and our in-office neurotoxin—up to $500 off.

New Patient Special

$99 for Exam, FMX (Full Mouth Series X-ray), and Healthy mouth cleaning.*

Double the Impact, Enjoy 20% Off Burst Products

When you donate to this cause, we’ll match your contribution. Plus, for every toy you give, enjoy an exclusive 20% discount on any Burst product you love. Join us in spreading joy and caring for your smile today.

*Non-insured patients only. Only valid for patients in the absence of periodontal (gum) disease. (D0150, D0210, D1110). These offers cannot be combined with other promotions and are redeemable in the absence of insurance coverage.