Sedation dentistry: Will I feel groggy after my treatment is over?

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Sedation dentistry is an approach that can help patients overcome dental anxiety and be comfortable and relaxed even during complex dental procedures. Depending upon the type of sedation your dentist uses, you might not even feel groggy after your treatment.

How Sedation Dentistry Works

With sedation dentistry, your dentist administers a mild sedative that helps you relax and be comfortable during your dental work. It is generally used in conjunction with local anesthetic for restorations (fillings or crowns), oral surgery, or endodontic work (root canal therapy). While the local anesthetic numbs the area being worked on, the sedative gives you a sense of calm, removing any anxiety you might normally experience. You’ll be completely conscious and able to respond to questions or instructions, but time will seem to move faster, and you might feel as if you are in a dream-like state.

Sedation is usually supplied in one of three ways:

  • Oral sedation—your dentist gives you a prescription pill
  • Nitrous oxide—this gas is administered during your procedure
  • Intravenous sedation—sedation is administered during your procedure

Oral sedation takes some time to take effect and then takes some time to wear off. You may feel groggy for a few hours afterward. Intravenous sedation can also take some time to wear off, depending upon the type of drugs used and your individual reaction. With nitrous oxide, you will probably feel fine within a few minutes after you stop breathing the gas.

Preparing for Sedation Dentistry

Unlike general anesthesia, sedation does not require you to fast ahead of time. If you have oral sedation, you’ll need to fill a prescription for your pill, then take it a short time before your appointment. Because the drugs will be starting to take effect after you take the pill, you’ll need someone to drive you to your appointment and then pick you back up to take you home. It’s a good idea to have a ride home after intravenous sedation, as well.

If you have more questions regarding sedation dentistry, contact our office today!