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What does dental sedation feel like?

Dental sedation may be an option if you are afraid of going to the dentist. In this post, our Valley Dental team discusses dental sedation and how it feels.

What is dental sedation?

Dental sedation uses medication, usually taken orally or inhaled, to help patients relax during dental appointments. There are normally three different types of sedation: oral, nitrous oxide, and IV. At Valley Dental, we, unfortunately, do not offer sedation. We do, however, feel it necessary to enlighten all our patients on as many aspects of dentistry as possible.

Sedation may be helpful for patients who are extremely anxious about dental procedures, need complicated treatment, or have a strong gag reflex. Your dentist will examine your medical history before suggesting sedation to make sure you are in good enough health.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a gas that can be inhaled to help relieve stress and anxiety. Because everyone is different, the gas levels can be easily adjusted throughout your appointment to meet your needs.

What is oral sedation?

Oral sedatives are available as liquids or pills. These medications can be taken the night before an appointment to help you sleep better, or one hour before to help you relax before and during treatment.

What is IV sedation?

Intravenous sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care or "twilight sleep," is a type of anesthesia that helps a patient relax by inserting an intravenous (IV) catheter into a vein. With the exception of those under general anesthesia, patients are usually awake during the procedure.

How does it feel to be under sedation? 

Dental sedation is a technique for easing the fear and discomfort related to dental procedures. No matter how sleepy you are, you will remain awake and able to interact with your dentist and follow instructions throughout your procedure. If you do doze off, a light shake should shake you out of it.

With conscious oral sedation, typically, patients have little recollection of the procedure. After being sedated with oral sedation, many patients report having a conscious dream. Oral sedation usually allows for a faster recovery than general anesthesia.

Our team will monitor you during your treatment to ensure your safety at all times.

Can I drive myself home after having dental sedation? 

A trusted friend or family member should drive you to and from your sedation appointment. Although sedation is only temporary, you may be drowsy enough to drive. Because oral sedation can take several hours to leave your system, consult with your dentist about when you can resume driving.

Don't let anxiety or dental phobias keep you from getting the care you need. Our dentists can assist you in choosing between IV or oral sedation for your procedure by determining whether you are a candidate for dental sedation. Keep in mind that nitrous oxide and oral sedation ought to function similarly.

Don't let dental anxiety stop you from getting the care you need. Contact Valley Dental today to discuss your options for care. 

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