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Questions About Sedation Dentistry

by Wyatt Morgan

If you feel nervous and anxious at the thought of having a dental procedure, you are not alone. Many people suffer from dental anxiety. As a result, sedation dentistry is available to help ease your discomfort. Here are a few questions and answers about sedation dentistry to help you better understand how it can be used to meet your needs:

Does sedation dentistry render you unconscious?

Sedation that is used in dentistry can make you feel sleepy, but unlike general anesthesia, it does not render you unconscious. If you do fall asleep after taking sedation medication, you can be easily awakened, even though you may feel a bit groggy.

Are you aware of what is happening as the procedure is being performed?

When sedated, you may be aware of the actions that your dentist is performing, but you should not feel any anxiety concerning what is transpiring. Thus, sedation is a great remedy for the uncomfortable psychological feelings that you may experience during a lengthy dental treatment. 

How is the sedation administered?

Your dentist may administer sedation in the following ways:

Oral Administration: A pill is ingested by mouth to introduce the sedation medication. These medicines usually include common sedatives, such as Valium. They are  generally taken a half hour or so before your scheduled treatment. As a result, you may need someone to drive you to your dental appointment.

Inhalation: Inhaled sedatives are provided in a gaseous state and may be administered through a mask. Your dentist may ask you to breathe deeply to inhale the gas sufficiently. Inhaled sedatives include gases, such as nitrous oxide, which is called laughing gas. Of all the dental sedatives, inhaled medications generally wear off the quickest. Still, if you feel sedated at the end of your appointment, you may need to have someone drive you home.

Injection: Sedatives can also be offered through injection. Injected medications often include a class of drugs called benzodiazepenes, which usually produce short-term amnesia. As a result, if you receive these sedatives, you are unlikely to be able to recall what transpired during the dental appointment. This can be helpful to prevent dental anxiety from progressing due to additional negative experiences. Although injected sedatives enter the bloodstream directly, they often wear off quickly..

To learn more about sedation dentistry and the options that may be suitable for you, schedule an appointment with a sedation dentist in your area, such as Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD.