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Sedation Dentistry FAQ
Many people have a fear of the dentist. If you do, then sedation dentistry might be the right choice for you. If you’re curious about if it’s right for you, read the FAQs below to learn more about sedation dentistry.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of sedation to relieve mild to severe anxiety. It is also used for patients who want to remain comfortable during long dental treatments. When you are sedated during your visit, you are in an altered state of mind in which pain and discomfort are minimized and relaxation takes over. This allows the dentist to do his or her work freely.
Who needs sedation dentistry?
- Many people of varying ages can consider themselves candidates for sedation dentistry You may require it if:
- You have a deep phobia of the dentist that results in extreme anxiety or panic attacks
- You hate needles
- You have concerns about pain
- You can’t sit still for an extended period of time
- You are having a long procedure and you want to be comfortable throughout
- You have difficulty getting numb
- You gag easily
- You have very sensitive teeth and gums
- You are susceptible to the smells of the dentist office and it makes you nauseous
- If you said yes to any of these, then maybe sedation dentistry is right for you. If you are still unsure, talk to your dentist.
How am I sedated?
- Sedation may be administered in three ways. You can work with your dentist which is the best option for your health and individual needs.
- 1.) Inhalation, or use of nitrous gas, is the lightest form of sedation and it creates a sense of euphoria while still being aware of what’s happening around you.
- 2.) Oral, by use of pill, is an even deeper state of relaxation and is best for shorter appointments because it can start to wear off after it reaches its peak.
- 3.) IV, also known as intravenous, is the deepest method of sedation. It creates a sleep-like state resulting in little to no memory of the visit. It also requires someone to drive you home afterward and stay with you until the effects wear off.
Will I be conscious?
In most cases, yes, you will be conscious during dental procedures involving sedation dentistry. However, everybody is different and there are some people who are sensitive to the sedation and end up falling asleep. Those who stay awake are extremely relaxed and can respond to verbal cues and are able to communicate any discomfort they might be experiencing.
How long will I be sedated?
How long you will be sedated depends upon the amount of work to be done and the amount of sedation-inducing medication the dentist administers to you. Your dentist is an expert and can approximate the best amount while getting the most done in that time, resulting in fewer appointments down the line. The normal timeframe that you will be sedated is between 1-6 hours.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
As with any dental procedure, there can be risks but overall, sedation dentistry is adequately safe. First of all, you should go to a trusted dentist that has had a great deal of experience in sedation dentistry. This professional will then perform a full dental evaluation which involves reviewing your medical history and whether or not you’re a good candidate. Then they will help you choose the best type of sedation that is tailored for your specific needs and comfort level. Finally, your dentist will monitor you closely every step of the way while you are under sedation.
Does it have any side effects?
- There are some very minor side effects. Once again, everyone reacts differently, but here is a list of potential side-effects:
- Your mouth might become dry during or after the procedure
- A very brief period of amnesia upon waking up
- Headache or nausea
- Grogginess is usually the most common symptom
What should I do after I have been sedated?
We ask that you have someone drive you home from the appointment. We advise you to not operate a vehicle or any other piece of potentially dangerous equipment for at least 24 hours afterwards. Basically, take it easy at home for a few hours, ideally with someone there to look after you.
If you think you might want to try sedation dentistry, then give us a call or go to our contact page!
4220 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72212
Phone: (501) 954-9900