Visiting your dentist is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. But if you are like many, sitting in a dental chair while undergoing a procedure can be a terrifying prospect. Dental anxiety is an issue that affects many individuals. It makes getting dental care a challenge. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help make visiting your dentist a more comfortable and stress-free experience. 


What Is Sedation Dentistry?


Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to let patients relax during dental procedures. Your dentist can choose the ideal type of sedation based on factors like the type of procedure performed or your level of anxiety.


How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?


The medication used in sedation dentistry suppresses the central nervous system. In doing so, it reduces feelings of anxiety and fear. Your specialist can administer it orally or intravenously, or you can inhale it depending on the type of sedation they use. You will then feel relaxed and may not remember much about the procedure once the medication takes effect.


Types of Sedation Dentistry


The different types of sedation used for dental procedures include the following:

  • Nitrous oxide – This type of sedation is administered through a mask. Your specialist will place it over your nose. The gas produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Many people call it laughing gas. Its effects wear off immediately after your dental care provider turns it off

  • Oral sedation – This type entails taking a pill before your dental procedure to help you feel relaxed and calm. Patients can still be awake during the procedure

  • IV sedation – The dental care provider administers IV sedation in the hand or arm. It produces a deeper level of relaxation

  • General anesthesia – This is the deepest level of sedation available. Specialists use it for more complex procedures. It causes patients to be completely unconscious during the procedure


What to Expect During a Sedation Dentistry Procedure


Your dentist will discuss the type of sedation to use before the procedure. They will also talk to you about what to expect. You will need to have someone drive you back home after your treatment. Some effects of the medication can linger for a few hours after the procedure.

During the procedure, you will feel relaxed. You may not remember a lot about the experience. You can still respond to your dentist's prompts if the level of sedation allows it. In other cases, you may be completely unconscious. Preparing for your dental procedure is ideal. Follow any instructions given by your dentist. These may regard eating, drinking, and taking medication before the procedure. 

Plan to have someone drive you back home. Wear comfortable clothing to the dental appointment. You can bring music or headphones to help you relax during the procedure. Discuss any medical history or concerns with your dentist before the procedure.


Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?


Sedation dentistry is generally safe when administered by a trained and licensed professional. However, there are some side effects associated with sedation. These include:

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Allergic reactions to the medication

  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure

  • Breathing difficulties

These risks are typically low. Patients should always discuss their concerns and medical history with their dentist before sedation.

For more about sedation dentistry, visit Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation at our office in Tampa or Wesley Chapel, Florida. Call 813.517.0100 or 813.973.7770 to book an appointment today.