Sedation dentistry helps anxious patients feel relaxed during dental procedures. It is a safe process that helps even the most apprehensive patients feel better about having dental work. The procedure involves administering a well-tested medication to the patient before the dental work begins.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
- Allows nervous patients to plan dental work without worry
- Improves oral health for apprehensive patients since they are less likely to put off services
- Helps appointments feel shorter
- Allows dentists to accomplish more in one appointment
Types of Sedation Offered
Depending on the patient's preference and the type of dental work needed, we offer three types of sedation:
Nitrous oxide is an inhaled medication given through a small nose mask. This gas partially displaces the oxygen in your lungs, producing relaxation, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and sometimes lightheadedness.
One of the major advantages of nitrous oxide is that it wears off very quickly. Patients can drive immediately after the gas wears off, which takes only minutes.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Conscious oral sedation involves taking an anti-anxiety medication about an hour before the appointment. The medication will help the patient relax, but they will not lose consciousness. Patients must have a responsible adult driver since the medication will take effect quickly and not wear off until after the appointment.
IV Sedation and General Anesthesia
You may want to ask about IV sedation and general anesthesia if you have a severe dental phobia or a special-needs person in your care. Patients who need extensive dental work also benefit from deeper sedation levels.
The dentist gives medication intravenously, allowing it to take effect quickly. The patient will remain sedated until the dentist stops the medication.
Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry has very few side effects in most patients. Patients may develop a slight headache after nitrous oxide, but they should completely return to normal within minutes of removing the gas.
Patients who receive conscious oral sedation or IV medication may feel groggy and sleepy for the remainder of the day, and dentists advise getting plenty of rest.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sedation Dentistry
Can children receive sedation?
Yes, children can undergo sedation during dental appointments. We offer nitrous oxide and IV sedation or general anesthesia to our young patients. Children respond very well to nitrous oxide, in particular.
How long does it take to recover from IV sedation?
The effects wear off in 12 hours, but you should plan on resting for the entire day. After 24 hours, you can return to your daily activities.
Call Total Dental Care
If you feel very nervous about going to the dentist or have a longer appointment planned, sedation dentistry can help. Please call our Germantown, MD, office at 240-813-9111 to learn more about our sedation options and schedule an appointment.