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What Does Dental Sedation Feel Like?

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Dental sedation may be an option if you are afraid of going to the dentist. Our Willowbrook Dental Clinic team discusses dental sedation and how it feels.

What is dental sedation?

Dental sedation uses medication, usually taken orally or inhaled, to help patients relax during dental appointments. There are normally two different types of sedation: oral and nitrous oxide. At Willowbrook Dental Clinic, we offer oral sedation.

Sedation may be beneficial for patients who are extremely nervous about dental procedures, require complex treatment, or have a severe gag reflex. Your dentist will review your medical history before recommending sedation to ensure that you are in good enough health to be sedated.

What is nitrous oxide sedation?

We believe it is still critical that you understand each type of sedation. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is an inhaled gas. Nitrous oxide is administered to you through a small mask that fits over your nose. The level of sedation can be adjusted during your appointment to ensure that you are comfortable at all times. Nitrous oxide is extremely safe because it enters and exits the body so quickly.

What is oral sedation?

Oral sedatives come in liquid or pill form. These medications can be taken the night before an appointment to help you sleep and/or one hour before your appointment to help you relax before and during treatment.

How does it feel to be under sedation? 

Dental sedation is a technique used to reduce anxiety and pain during dental procedures. Despite feeling sleepy, you will be fully conscious throughout your treatment, able to communicate with your dentist and respond to instructions. If you do happen to doze off, a gentle shake should easily wake you up.

Patients who receive oral conscious sedation usually have little recollection of the procedure. After being sedated with oral sedation, many patients report having a conscious dream. Oral sedation allows for a faster recovery than general anesthesia.

Nitrous oxide sedation can benefit both adults and children because it relaxes and calms them. You might even feel euphoric as a result of it. You'll be awake and able to communicate, and time will seem to fly by.

Our team will monitor you during your treatment to ensure your safety at all times.

Can I drive myself home after having dental sedation? 

You should have a trusted friend or family member drive you to and from your sedation appointment. While the effects of laughing gas wear off quickly, you may still be too drowsy to drive. Because oral sedation can take several hours to leave your system, you should carefully follow your dentist's recommendations for when you can resume driving.

Don't let dental fear or anxiety prevent you from receiving the care you require. By determining whether you are a candidate for dental sedation, our dentists can help you decide whether to use nitrous oxide (in which case we may need to refer you) or oral sedation for your procedure. Keep in mind that oral sedation has the same effect as nitrous oxide.

Don't let dental anxiety stop you from getting the care you need. Contact Willowbrook Dental Clinic today to discuss our dental sedation options. 

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