Over the years, sedation dentistry has gained popularity due to its numerous benefits. Dental sedation can be a lifesaver for people who experience severe anxiety or fear about dental procedures, as it can help patients relax and have a comfortable dental experience. If you’re considering dental sedation to get the dental care you need, you most likely have questions.

Here are 10 frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry.

1. What is dental sedation, and why is it used?

Sedation dentistry is a method of administering medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is used for patients with dental anxiety, a history of bad dental experiences or trauma, sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, and those needing multiple or complex dental procedures. Dental sedation can range from mild sedation, where patients remain conscious but feel drowsy and relaxed, to deep sedation or general anesthesia, where patients are completely unconscious.

2. How safe is dental sedation?

Dental sedation is generally safe when administered by a trained and experienced dental professional. The risks and side effects associated with dental sedation are minimal, and the dental team will monitor the patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure to ensure their safety. Oral surgeons attend a 4 to 6 year surgical residency to specialize in dental sedation among many other surgical procedures.

3. What types of sedation are there?

Sedation dentistry options recommended for patients will depend on their medical history, the complexity of the procedure, and their anxiety level. A few levels of sedation are available, from minimal sedation to deep sedation. At Foley & Le, we offer local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation, IV moderate and deep sedation, and general anesthesia.

4. What are the common side effects of dental sedation?

Dental sedation’s most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. These side effects typically subside quickly after the procedure. Patients may also experience some amnesia or forgetfulness about the procedure.

5. How long does dental sedation last?

The duration of dental sedation will depend on the type of sedation used, anywhere from two to eight hours. Nitrous oxide sedation wears off quickly, and patients can usually drive themselves home after the procedure. IV and oral sedation may take longer to wear off, and patients may feel drowsy for several hours after the procedure, so they must arrange for someone to drive them home.

6. Who can receive dental sedation?

Although sedation dentistry can benefit anyone, it is very helpful for children and for patients  who experience dental anxiety, have a strong gag reflex, or have physical disabilities. Dental sedation is safe for most patients. However, patients with certain medical conditions may not be eligible for sedation. Your dental professional will conduct a thorough medical history review before recommending sedation.

7. How do I prepare for dental sedation?

To prepare for dental sedation:
1. Ensure you disclose your complete medical history and any medications or supplements you take beforehand.
2. Follow your dentist’s instructions regarding eating, drinking, and medication intake.
3. Wear comfortable clothing and remove all jewelry. 
4. Arrange for someone to accompany you to and from the appointment.

8. Can I eat or drink before dental sedation?

It depends on the type of sedation. Your oral surgeon will provide specific instructions to follow before the procedure, including whether you need to avoid eating or drinking for a certain amount of time before the appointment. If you’re receiving IV sedation or general anesthesia, you will need to fast for 8 hours before the appointment to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting during the procedure.

9. Will I be asleep during dental sedation?

It depends on the type of sedation used. With mild sedation, such as nitrous oxide, you will not be asleep but will feel relaxed and may even doze off during the procedure. With moderate sedation, you may feel drowsy and forget much of the procedure, but you will still be conscious and able to respond to verbal commands. With deep sedation or general anesthesia, you will be asleep without memory of the procedure. You will have no awareness and will be monitored closely throughout the procedure to ensure your safety.

10. Can I drive home after dental sedation?

Patients should not drive or operate heavy machinery for 12 hours after receiving dental sedation. Make sure you arrange for transportation home from your dental appointment.

Sedation Dentistry in Boulder, CO

Oral surgery and procedures no longer have to be a source of anxiety. Dental sedation can be a safe and effective way to alleviate fear during dental visits to maintain a healthy smile. At Foley and Le Oral Surgery, we understand that dental fear is real and offer full sedation dentistry services to make your visit to the dentist a comfortable experience.

If you’re looking for a sedation dentist near me or an oral surgeon near me, call (303) 444-2255 or complete the online booking form to schedule an appointment. For oral surgery Boulder, CO, visit the experts at 1420 28th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO. We look forward to helping you with your beautiful smile!

Skip to content