Sedation dentistry can benefit anxious patients who might otherwise steer clear of the dentist, as well as patients facing complex time-consuming procedures requiring lengthy appointments. However, if you’ve never received sedation before, you may have some questions about how the process works. Here are some questions that we often hear from patients who are considering sedation dentistry.
When providing sedation dentistry, a dentist will administer certain medications to patients to help them relax during the appointment. This may involve the patient inhaling nitrous oxide or taking an oral medication in advance of the appointment. IV sedation may be recommended for more complex procedures.
Prior to administering sedation, your dentist will ask about your medical history to determine if there might be any risks to you, such as negative interactions, etc. Your vital signs will also be monitored throughout the appointment for your safety.
Although patients feel as though they are asleep while under sedation, they actually remain conscious. This has a number of advantages over other strategies like general anesthesia that render the patient unconscious. First of all, the airway does not need to be artificially maintained, and the patient can breathe normally. Secondly, because they are conscious, patients can continue to respond to instructions from the dentist throughout the treatment.
If you choose oral conscious sedation, you will need to take the medication far enough in advance of the appointment for it to have the desired effect on you, as well as getting the prescription filled at least a day or two before your appointment. If you are receiving sedation via nitrous oxide, you will just come to the office and we will administer it to you here.
The effects of sedatives are usually not reversed by the time the appointment is over, so you will not be able to drive safely quite yet. We ask that you make arrangements for a responsible adult to accompany you home from the appointment and stay with you until the sedatives have worn off completely for your own safety.
Do you have other questions about the sedation dentistry process? Give our team at Towson Dental Care a call and speak to our friendly staff members to get any other information that you need.