At some point in your life, you may require a dental procedure in which sedation is required. Sedation is the application of a variety of techniques to calm a patient or provide pain management. This can vary and range from numbing a particular site to receiving sleep inducing anesthesia. Before your procedure, it is important that you know the risks, what kinds of sedation are offered in dentistry, and any other pertinent information. Do your research and write down any questions for your consultation.
Types of Sedation
A sedation dentist has different methods and types of sedatives that they offer to their patients depending on whether it’s medically necessary or to relieve anxiety.
- Inhaled sedation, typically laughing gas or another mixture of gas and oxygen will give you a mild state of euphoria.
- Oral sedatives may be given as a prescription before you arrive for your dental visit to help calm your nerves.
- An IV sedation is the strongest form of sedation which will put you in a dream-like state almost immediately.
If you are preparing for dental surgery or a procedure in which sedation may be necessary, there are some things you need to discuss with your doctor. If you have any other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or diseases there could be complications, so be very transparent. If you are on any medications, special diets, supplements, these need to be disclosed to prevent any complications from drug interactions.
After the appropriate sedative begins to wear off, patients will typically feel a little out of sorts or light-headed. Just be aware that those symptoms are normal but should not last for too long.
There are other rare side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or headaches – these can occur but are not very common. It is also recommended that you have a companion with you to ensure you get home safely after your treatment.
If you are facing a medical or dental surgery or treatment that requires sedation, it is important to do your research and ask your dentist about the risks and any other ‘need to know’ information. A professional dentist will welcome any inquiries or concerns to help make your sedation experience as worry-free as possible.