If you're anxious about dental appointments, you may be considering dental sedation to help make the experience more comfortable. Today, our Surrey dentists explain more about dental sedation and what it can feel like.
What is dental sedation?
Dental sedation uses medication, usually taken orally or inhaled, to help patients relax during dental appointments. At Guildford Dental, we offer two different types of sedation: oral and nitrous oxide.
We often recommend sedation for patients who get significantly nervous about dental procedures, who need complex treatment, or who have a severe gag reflex. Before recommending sedation, your dentist will do a review of your medical history to ensure it is safe for you to be sedated.
What is nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous Oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, is an inhaled gas. Nitrous oxide is administered through a small mask that fits over your nose. The level of sedation can be controlled during your appointment, ensuring you feel comfortable at all times. Nitrous oxide is extremely safe, as it enters and exits the body quickly.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedatives are easily administered in the form of liquid or pills. These medications can be taken the night before an appointment to help you sleep, and/or one hour before your appointment to reduce anxiety leading up to and during treatment.
How does it feel to be under sedation?
The goal of dental sedation is to alleviate feelings of anxiety and pain. You will feel sleepy but remain fully conscious during your treatment and able to communicate with your dentist and be responsive to instructions. If you do fall asleep, you can easily be woken with a gentle shake.
Typically, patients who have oral conscious sedation remember little about what transpired during the procedure. Many patients say they feel like they have had a conscious dream after taking oral sedation. Recovery from oral sedation is much faster than with general anesthesia.
Nitrous oxide sedation is appropriate for both adults and children and helps patients feel more relaxed and calm. It may even cause feelings of euphoria. You will remain awake and able to communicate, and time may seem to pass more quickly.
Our team will monitor your vital signs during your treatment to ensure your safety at all times.
Can I drive myself home after having dental sedation?
It is best to have a trusted friend or family member bring you to and from your appointment with sedation. While laughing gas wears off fairly quickly, you may still be a little too drowsy to drive. Oral sedation can take hours to leave your system and you should follow your dentist's instructions carefully about when it will be safe to drive again.
Do not let dental fear or anxiety keep you from getting the dental treatment you need. Our dentists can assess whether dental sedation is an option for you and help you choose between nitrous oxide or oral sedation for your procedure.
Don't let dental anxiety stop you from getting the care you need. Contact Guildford Dental today to discuss our dental sedation options.