If you or your child needs an invasive dental procedure, we may suggest sedation. This dulls the nerves and makes the patient more relaxed and comfortable. Here at Smile Family Dentistry, we do everything possible to make any dental procedure easy for our patients, especially our younger ones. There are different forms of sedation that can be used, and we will select the one that best fits with the procedure and is the safest for you or your child. We will answer all of your questions about dental sedation before the procedure and make certain you are informed of everything we are doing.
Types of Sedation
There are three different types of dental sedation that both children and adults can use. The first is a basic oral sedation. This can come in the form of a pill that is taken by mouth or via nasal delivery. It is similar to taking over-the-counter pain medication in that it takes 20 to 30 minutes to fully take effect. The patient typically does not fall completely asleep but feels numb and relaxed.
Nitrous oxide is another common form of sedation. Commonly referred to as laughing gas, it is delivered via a mask the patient wears for about five minutes. After breathing in the mixture, the patient becomes very relaxed. Some become very happy and may laugh, which is what gives nitrous oxide its more common name. After we finish the procedure, the patient is given pure oxygen to flush any remaining nitrous oxide from their system.
The final type of sedation, intravenous sedation, is generally only done for major dental surgery. For this option, we insert an IV into the patient’s arm or back of their hand and deliver a sedative directly into the body. We may administer nitrous oxide first in order to help the patient relax.
Is Sedation Necessary?
For many dental procedures, full sedation is not necessary. Instead, we will use other techniques to numb a part of the mouth or the entire mouth. However, if you or your child is in need of dental surgery, we typically do recommend some form of sedation. Children and adults who are very nervous may also want sedation to help them relax.
How Should You Prepare for Sedation?
We will provide you and your child with information about the sedation method to be used and how to prepare for it before the procedure. Typically, this involves not eating or drinking prior to sedation. Always follow the provided instructions exactly as given. These instructions will vary depending on the type of sedation used. In order to determine the best sedation option, we will need you to provide us with a list of all of the medications you are taking, any supplements you take, and your medical history.
What to Do Following Sedation
Again, we will provide you with after-care instructions following the procedure and sedation. Some people do feel nauseous or confused after they come out of the sedation, but this typically does not last long. If you have any questions, call Smile Family Dentistry at 925-414-4128.