How Does Dental Sedation Work?

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  • user.pngDr. Todd Bertman
  • calendar-silhouette.png10 Feb

It’s Time to Forget Your Dental Fears

Some people are so afraid of the dentist that they avoid treatment for years, decades even. Whether they had a previously bad experience or they’ve simply built a fear up over the years, they put their oral health at risk by avoiding the dentist. Luckily, there’s a simple solution. Dental sedation works by using medications that can help keep you calm during your next procedure. 

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of sedatives to help patients relax so they can undergo dental procedures. Sedatives reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and sensitivity. This makes it easier for patients to undergo treatment whether they have a fear of the dentist, sensitivity to pain, or a strong gag reflex.

Types of Dental Sedation

There are several types of sedation your dentist can use to help you remain calm for your procedure. Here are the main ones: 

  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral sedatives (Diazepam, Lorazepam, Halcion, and other benzodiazepines).
  • IV Sedation (Midazolam, though other benzodiazepines can be used as well).

Your dentist may choose to use multiple sedatives, depending on how severe your dental anxiety is. It is common, for instance, for patients who are afraid of needles to receive an oral or gas sedative before they get an IV. 

What Is the Dental Sedation Process Like? 

dental sedation near you

Typically, if you need sedation dentistry, you’ll speak to your dentist before your next dental appointment. They will evaluate the extent of your fear and choose the best course of action. 

  1. You’ll either be provided with oral sedatives to take before your appointment or you’ll arrive and be sedated before the start of your procedure.
  2. You arrive at your dentist and go to your appointment. 
  3. Your dentist will make sure you are comfortably sedated before your procedure begins. 
  4. You’ll be monitored during the procedure to make sure your sedatives are working and that they’re not causing any adverse effects. 
  5. Once your procedure finishes, your dentist will release you into the care of someone else who will get you home. 
  6. If you only need laughing gas, then you should be fine by the time you leave the office.  

How Long Do The Effects of Dental Sedation Last?

How long your sedation lasts depends on the type of sedation. The effects of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) completely fade within a few minutes after you stop inhaling the gas. Oral and IV sedation can last longer, between 2 to 8 hours after your procedure. Many other factors affect the time it takes for the side-effects to fade: size, tolerance, and the type of medication.

Risks of Sedation Dentistry

It’s completely natural to wonder whether or not dental sedation is safe. It’s important to note that there’s always a risk with any medical procedure, including the use of sedatives. The process is usually safe, provided you have an experienced dentist administering the sedatives. The American Dental Association also lays out clear guidelines for sedation.

Your local dentist should be very experienced in guiding patients through the sedation process. You’ll be monitored during the procedure, and if there is an issue, they can use medications that reverse the effects of the medication.

Keep in mind that some medical conditions may prevent you from receiving sedation. And people suffering from obesity or sleep apnea should speak with their dentist beforehand. 

Does Dental Sedation Work? 

For most patients, gas, oral, and IV sedation help them remain relaxed for their dental procedures. Plenty of patients have overcome their fears of the dentist through sedation to finally get the treatment they deserve. And while some patients may have a tolerance to sedation, their dentist can combine different types of sedatives to help their patients remain calm. 

Dental Sedation Near Me in New York City

Don’t silently suffer through your dental anxiety. And don’t avoid the treatment you deserve. If you live near Greenwich Village and are interested in dental sedation, then you should check out Advanced Dental Arts. We’re a top-rated, New York City-based dental practice located near New York University. Our dynamic team of board-certified dental specialists is standing by to put your mind at ease.

Whether you’re looking for an NYC dental practice near you that takes Cigna, Aetna, Delta, and many other insurance providers, then you need to book your next dental appointment with ADA today!

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