For some people, visiting the dentist can create some feelings of anxiety. The good news is that there are steps we can take to help ease your worries. Our Delta dentists share some information about how dental sedation can help you relax and what to expect with dental sedation.
How can dental sedation help you?
By receiving sedation prior to any dental procedures you may not only feel more relaxed during your visit but also may experience decreased pain. Some procedures that sedation may be particularly useful for include root canals, fillings and dental crown procedures. Sedation may be a good option for patients concerned about their gag reflexes or fear and anxiety.
Each clinic will offer a different type of dental sedation. Here at Surdel Dental Centre we offer both oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Oral sedation is usually administered in liquid or pill form in the time leading up to your dental visit. You may be given a dose to take the night before allowing you to relax and sleep well. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is administered just before your procedure begins.
Dental sedation is ideal as it allows you the opportunity to remain conscious. One of the benefits of dental sedation is that you will continue to be awake and responsive throughout your visit allowing you to communicate and be aware of what is happening.
Are there any side effects when having dental sedation?
While sedation won't cause you to fall unconscious, a number of patients say that they end up so relaxed that they could just sleep. Know that it is perfectly normal if you do fall asleep. This will only be a light sleep and our dental team won't have any issues gently waking you once the service is complete. Just like many medications, each person will have a different response to the sedation. While rare, there is always the possibility of some side effects. Side effects that may occur with dental sedation include:
- Low blood pressure
- Mild headache
- Sluggish reflexes
- Amnesia (only for the period you are sedated)
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or vomiting
- Watery eyes
Both Oral Sedation & IV Sedation
- Dry mouth
For most people who do experience side effects, they are usually quite mild and quick to pass.
What are the potential complications?
Dental sedation is generally a safe option for most patients, however, there is still a possibility of complications just like any other medication.
If your dentist has scheduled dental sedation for your appointment, they will discuss any potential risks or complications with you prior to your visit.
Patients with certain conditions, such as sleep apnea or obesity, will not be able to undergo treatment using dental sedation. This is to prevent any serious complications that may occur in these cases. Our dental team will offer other methods of helping you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your procedure.
While all medical procedures involve some risk, using IV sedation under the supervision of a trained professional is relatively risk-free. Oversedation is the most serious risk, which will be managed by the dental team through careful monitoring. Patients are not left alone while sedated.
Always ensure that the dental professional administering your dental sedation is trained and qualified to do so. This will help to minimize the potential risk.
What will happen after having dental sedation?
What you experience while recovering from dental sedation will vary depending on the type you receive. The dental team will stay with you to help ensure your safety for the entirety of your visit.
When being sedated you will need to have a friend or family member provide you with a ride to and from your appointment as you will likely be groggy afterward. We recommend that you take the day off, refrain from operating heavy machinery, and avoid physical activity while the sedative wears off. These side effects should only last up to 24 hours after which you will be able to return to your regular activities.