Sedation dentistry is designed to ensure your ease and comfort during or immediately before your dental procedure. Several levels of sedation dentistry are available, including IV sedation, inhaled sedation and conscious oral sedation.
IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, is also known as “sleep dentistry”. It provides the most relaxed sedation available during a dental treatment. IV sedation doesn’t cause you to lose complete consciousness, but instead puts you into a deeply relaxed state. IV sedation acts quickly and is controlled by your trained dentist, who will monitor the levels during the course of your procedure.
Never drive after you receive IV sedation, as you will feel groggy and may not be fully alert for many hours. A side effect of the drugs used for IV sedation is full or partial memory loss while the drug is active in your body. It is because of this side effect that patients don’t remember things that happen during their procedures.
Inhaled sedation is also known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask. Levels are controlled by the dentist. It allows you to be fully comfortable and relaxed, but to still be responsive to requests and instruction by your dentist. Inhaled sedation wears off quickly, and enables you to drive yourself home following your treatment.
Conscious oral sedation accomplishes minimal to moderate sedation using oral sedatives in the form of a pill. They are typically taken within an hour of beginning your dental procedure. Some dentists allow a mild oral sedative to be taken the night before your procedure to ease your anxiety and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.
An oral sedative can sometimes cause you to “drift off” but you will never be fully unconscious and will awaken easily. Despite not being fully unconscious during conscious oral sedation, you should not drive yourself home from treatment, as you will not be fully alert.
Your dentist will have all of the answers you need to your sedation dentistry questions. Don’t let anxiety and fear hold you back; talk to your dentist today and have a comfortable, fear-free visit using sedation dentistry.
Schedule your appointment at our Louisville dental office