Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? Exploring the Risks and Precautions

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? Exploring the Risks and Precautions

Aug 01, 2023

Sedation dentistry helps keep you comfortable when receiving dental procedures. Dental sedation benefits people undergoing lengthy procedures or suffering from dental anxiety. Some options for sedation include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and intravenous sedation. Dentists practicing sedation dentistry receive specialized training and are certified in providing some forms of dental sedation.

Sedation Dentistry Explained

Sedation dentistry makes you feel calm, at ease, and relaxed during dental appointments. The moderate sedation level keeps you technically awake but oblivious to your surroundings. Sedation dentistry is also called oral conscious sedation or twilight sleep because of the short-term amnesia or forgetfulness it creates. Dental sedation makes you insensitive to pain without losing consciousness.

Who Benefits from Sedation Dentistry?

Everyone, including children, benefits from dental sedation. The dentist near you will recommend this modality if you are affected by dental anxiety, a fear of visiting dentists, an overly sensitive gag reflex, a feel of needles, extreme tooth sensitivity, claustrophobia in the dentist’s chair, reduced sensitivity to local anesthesia, special needs including physical, behavioral, and cognitive, and challenges controlling movements.

Sedation Dentistry Versions

Varying levels of dental sedation are used by dentists providing painless dentistry near you after considering your dental anxiety level, the length of the treatment, your medical history, and personal preferences. Common types of sedation used by dentists include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.

  • Nitrous Oxide: Alternatively called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is an inhalable gas through a mask to help calm you within minutes. The dentist controls how much sedation you receive and adjusts doses accordingly. After your dental treatment, the dentist gives you To flush the gas out of your system; you need to inhale pure oxygen. As nitrous oxide dissipates quickly, you can drive back home after your procedure.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: If you are undergoing lengthy procedures, you can request oral conscious sedation from the sedation dentist near you. With oral sedation, the dentist prescribes tranquilizers, antianxiety medications, and antidepressants to have one hour before your appointment. If children require dental sedation, the dentist prescribes liquid sedation before their appointment. Oral conscious sedation can make you dizzy and even cause you to sleep. However, you can communicate with your dentist if required and be awakened with a gentle nudge. As oral sedation temporarily affects your motor skills and memory, you will need a responsible caregiver to drive you after your dental procedure.
  • IV Sedation: in dental office settings, IV sedation is the most profound form of conscious sedation. The dentist will deliver sedatives to your bloodstream using an IV line. They also monitor your vital signs during your procedure. People receiving IV sedation dentistry fall asleep with little memory of their treatment when they wake up. IV sedation dentistry is best for patients with severe dental phobia and requiring lengthy procedures.

While sedation dentistry calms you with medications, you still need local anesthesia in the mouth to block pain impulses from the gums when undergoing dental procedures. However, you will likely not notice the sensation of the injection because you are entirely relaxed.

Risks of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry helps ease anxiety and phobia, assisting in remaining calm, administered by licensed providers. However, a minor risk of complications exists with sedation dentistry. Some short-term hazards include nausea and vomiting, headaches, lingering drowsiness, dry mouth, bruising from the IV, and challenges predicting the effects of oral sedatives.

It is also difficult to predict the effects of oral sedatives. In rare cases, people can develop allergic reactions, but medicines are available to counteract the problems.

Precautions When Receiving Sedation Dentistry

When you are scheduled for a lengthy dental treatment and advised sedation dentistry by the dentist, it helps if you discuss sedation dentistry modalities requesting all information on the level of dental sedation you will receive. During your discussion, you must provide the dentist with your medical history and oral medications you take, including supplements and herbals, to ensure the dentist determines the precise level of dental sedation best suited for your needs.

Sedation dentistry levels can vary from mild to moderate to profound, and the effects remain with you for 24 hours before wearing off. You must have a caregiver for commuting to and from the dentist’s office and refrain from engaging in strenuous activity after your dental procedure.

Dental anxiety should not keep you from receiving the essential dental care you deserve. If dental appointments scare you or make you anxious, sedation dentistry can help you get the routine care vital to maintaining long-term oral health.

If dental anxiety prevents you from visiting dentists, consider discussing your situation with Fanwood Family and Cosmetic Dentistrywho will offer dental sedation to help calm you and receive minor or extensive dental treatments. Dental sedation enables you to care for oral health over the long term.

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