Sedation dentistry is the use of medications to put patients at ease, relieve dental anxiety, make it easier to sit for long procedures, and offer relief for sensitive gag reflexes and low pain tolerance. There are different types of sedation, ranging from mild, moderate, and unconscious.
Sedation is considered safe for both children and adults, though we will need to review your medical history and any medications you are taking to determine if you are a suitable candidate. Dental sedation relaxes the patient, making them feel sleepy.
You may or may not fall asleep in the dental chair but it will be easy to wake you up with mild to moderate sedation. Patients often do not remember the treatment after the sedative has worn off. If you’re interested in sedation for your next dental treatment, contact us at DentAllon Dentistry today. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Liel Allon to find out if sedation is right for you.
Dental sedation is considered safe for children. Children are prime candidates for sedation because they are more likely to be uncooperative and experience anxiety.
You will come in for a consultation with Dr. Liel Allon, who will ask you about any medical conditions you have or medications you take. Certain medical conditions, pregnancy, allergies, and medications may not make you a good candidate for sedation. Dr. Allon will discuss what you can expect, the risks associated with sedation, and how you should prepare.
If you are receiving nitrous oxide, preparation is very minimal. You will only need to fast for 2 hours before receiving the sedative. However, oral conscious sedation is a more intense sedative that can cause lingering grogginess. Because of this, you will not be able to drive and will need someone to accompany you to the appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is administered by taking an anti-anxiety pill an hour before the appointment. It takes some time to kick in. Nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask that flows nitrous oxide and oxygen through it. These gases are inhaled by the patient and the sedative has a quick onset.
Dr. Allon will inform you of how you should care for yourself for the rest of the day. Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that wears off almost instantly. Patients may be able to drive after receiving this sedative but should be prepared that they can feel a little nauseous. Those who receive oral conscious sedation need to be driven home and should rest for the rest of the day. Someone should monitor you, as the effects can last for 24 hours. You should not drive within that time.
Nitrous oxide is the mildest and safest sedative in sedation dentistry. This makes it appropriate for use in both adults and children. The patient inhales nitrous oxide and oxygen through a gas mask and the effects are felt within minutes.
Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas because it tends to cause giddiness and laughter in patients. Laughing gas induces the patient into a state of relaxation, calmness, and euphoria.
The patient may feel a little sleepy but is fully conscious and can respond to questions. Once the treatment is completed, the gas mask will be flooded with oxygen to remove remnants of nitrous oxide in the body. Within a few minutes, the patient will return to a normal state.
This sedative is a little more intense than laughing gas and is taken orally. The dentist will prescribe you an anti-anxiety pill such as a benzodiazepine, which you will take an hour before the start of your appointment. The intensity of the sedation depends on the dosage of the pill and your level of anxiety.
A higher dosage of this medication may be used for more complex procedures such as oral surgery or if the patient has severe dental anxiety. Patients are conscious during the procedure but may fall asleep.
The dentist will be able to wake you up with little effort. This sedative relaxes you by reducing your awareness of the procedure. You are unlikely to remember anything when it is over. For the next 24 hours, you may experience lingering grogginess, which is why you will need someone to accompany you to the appointment and refrain from driving.
Dental sedation has been around for centuries.
Sedation dentistry has minimal risks. Serious side effects are extraordinarily rare, and almost all patients can be sedated safely. However, there are some medical conditions and situations that can pose additional risks to patients who are getting sedation. For example, certain people who are more obese or have sleep apnea may be more likely to develop complications.
To help reduce these risks, Dr. Liel Allon will work with you to learn more about your medical history, medications and supplements you’re taking, and whether or not you’ve had issues with sedation in the past.
Our team is also fully trained in the latest sedation techniques. We will always use the right dose based on your age, gender, size, and other factors. Throughout your procedure, Dr. Allon and our team will keep a close eye on your vital signs. This ensures that you’ll be completely safe throughout your entire operation.
The extent and severity of side effects vary depending on whether you’ve opted for nitrous sedation or oral conscious sedation. Let’s start with nitrous sedation. The most common side effects are headaches, nausea, dizziness, and sweating. These usually pass within a few minutes. Nitrous oxide won’t impair your ability to drive or make decisions, so it’s completely safe to drive yourself home, or even go back to work or school. Its side effects are very minimal.
However, this is not the case with oral conscious sedation. The side effects of oral conscious sedation last much longer, and will be more intense. They can last up to 4-6 hours or longer after your appointment. You may feel disoriented, have a headache, and feel heavy or sluggish while moving. Your reflexes will be slowed down, and you may feel sick or nauseous, too.
Because of these side effects, you need someone to drive you to and from DentAllon Dentistry if you’re receiving oral conscious sedation. They must also take care of you and keep an eye on you as you recover. If you do not bring someone with you to drive you home, we cannot provide oral conscious sedation.
For nitrous oxide (laughing gas), you don’t need to do anything special to prepare. However, we do recommend against eating a large meal within 2 hours of your appointment. This helps minimize the risk of nausea during and after treatment.
For oral conscious sedation, you may need to fast (avoid eating or drinking, except water) the night before your appointment. You may also need to take a pill or two the night before your appointment, and another pill an hour or two before your appointment. Dr. Allon will give you full instructions before your appointment.
Recovery is also different for both methods of sedation. You’ll recover almost immediately from nitrous oxide. But with oral conscious sedation, you may be impaired for 4-6 hours or more. You should go home to rest or relax, preferably under the supervision of a responsible adult. Do not drive, go to work, or operate any kind of heavy machinery for the rest of the day.
That you should NEVER use teeth to cut or open things.