Sedation in dentistry is an important aspect of the practice that you might not be aware of. Whether you are undergoing a generally painful procedure or you are someone who has a fear of dentistry, sedation is a way for dentist offices to remain able to offer important services and keep you as comfortable as possible.
There are various types of sedation used at the typical dentist office depending on your specific case and needs. We will talk about in turn so that you can figure which might be the best for you.
Nitrous Oxide: Why is it so common?
You may have never heard of the name nitrous oxide, but you may have heard of laughing gas. They are the same thing.
Nitrous oxide is a very common substance used for sedation in a dentist’s office (and yes, it often makes you more likely to laugh). It offers light effects that mitigate some feelings of pain and anxiety. It calms you down and puts you in a euphoric state that makes some dental procedures much more manageable for you and the dentist. This substance is very light and will wear off in less than 10 minutes after the last time it was administered. There are not usually side effects, although some people may have some headaches, nausea, or a little confusion.
The gas is inhaled by the patient and begins working fairly quickly. It is used for minor dental services and procedures. It is common because it is cheaper than other sedation measures and offers enough sedation for many procedures.
What is conscious oral sedation?
For more involved procedures or for patients that are more anxious about visiting the dentist, oral conscious sedation may be a better choice. As the name implies, the medicine is administered orally. Before the appointment, you are instructed to take a pill that will start working soon after.
When under this type of sedation, you will be in a deeper sedated state than nitrous oxide, but you will not be completely unconscious. You may fall asleep during the visit but you will be aware enough to wake up and respond to cues and questions from the dentist in Greensboro NC.
Oral sedation is more intense. The full effects can be felt for 4-6 hours after the pill is taken. For this reason, you will need to have someone available to take you to and from your appointment. Some side effects of oral sedation include headache, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting. You may also likely experience “anterograde” amnesia which means that you will not remember what happened when you were under the effects of the pill (which happens to include your appointment).
IV Sedation: How long will the IV sedation take?
Similar to oral conscious dentistry, IV sedation is very potent but will not render you unconscious. You will be in a deep sedated state but will still be able to respond and know what is happening for the most part as it is happening.
The substance is administered via a needle which is usually placed in the arm. The needle site may be numbed if you are scared of needles.
The full effects of IV sedation will generally last for about 12 hours. This means that you should have someone take you to and from your appointment and take the entire day to recover. After 24 hours, any side effects should subside (like nausea, vomiting, etc).
This type of sedation is ideal for people with dental anxiety or for procedures that may be particularly painful. It is the longest lasting and will provide the best overall coverage in terms of sedation. Also, keep in mind that this type of sedation is more expensive than the previous two methods.
Sedation at Devaney Dentistry
At Devaney Dentistry, we work with each paitent to come up with a sedation plan that will fit their needs. The type of sedation required will depend on many factors, not least of which being anxiety and pain expected during the appointment. Other factors include: a strong gag reflex, sensitive teeth, and more complex procedures.
Whatever the case may be, we have compassionate staff on hand who are experienced with all facets of sedation dentistry. We will get you into the office, discuss your needs, and make you as comfortable as possible so that you can take charge of your dental health!