For people who are anxious about seeing the dentist for any reason, dental sedation can go a long way toward making their appointments comfortable and stress-free. If you’re thinking of having sedation performed during your next dental visit, you’re probably wondering what the treatment will feel like. Here is a brief overview of what you’ll likely experience with the different types of sedation that your dentist offers.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide is the mildest sedation option and is typically offered to patients who only need a little help relaxing during their appointments. You’ll wear a mask over your nose so that you can breathe in the nitrous oxide while your dentist is working with your teeth.
While under the effects of nitrous oxide, you will still be awake and able to answer questions or follow instructions. However, you’ll also be completely relaxed and at ease with your situation. Once you stop breathing in nitrous oxide, it will only take a few minutes for the effects to wear off, allowing you to drive yourself home or return to work.
Oral Conscious Sedation
If you’ve chosen to have oral conscious sedation performed at your next appointment, you’ll be given medication to take at some point before your treatment begins. As the name implies, you will still be awake, but you’ll also be in a state of relaxation that’s significantly deeper compared to what you would experience with nitrous oxide sedation.
After your appointment, you’ll likely feel somewhat groggy. It will take a while for the effects of nitrous oxide sedation to completely wear off. As such, you should bring a trusted friend or family member to your appointment so that they can drive you home afterward.
IV sedation is the strongest form of sedation that does not put you to sleep. The sedative is administered through a needle inserted into one of your veins, and the level of sedation can be adjusted according to your needs.
With IV sedation, you’ll be in such a deep state of relaxation that you might doze off, although your dentist will be able to awaken you easily. In many cases, you might not remember what happened during your procedure. Like oral conscious sedation, IV sedation doesn’t wear off immediately, so someone else will have to take you home once your treatment is complete.
Is There Anything You Need to Do to Prepare for Sedation Dentistry?
The instructions you receive to help you prepare for your treatment will vary depending on what kind of sedation you’re using. For example, oral conscious sedation usually requires you to fast for up to six hours before your appointment. Make sure to follow the provided instructions carefully so that your experience with dental sedation can be a positive one.
About the Author
Dr. Brandon Hunt attended the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and he has completed the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at the University of North Carolina. He is certified in IV moderate conscious sedation, and he offers a variety of sedation options to help patients who suffer from dental anxiety. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hunt at Barker, Rohner & Hunt in Raleigh, visit his website or call (919) 847-7100.