If you’ve ever avoided the dentist due to fear or discomfort, it’s essential to know that you’re not alone. Half of all dental patients have avoided the dentist in the past because of these concerns, but there are ways our team can help make your experience more comfortable so your teeth can get the care they need.
One of the most popular is dental sedation, a common technique dentists use to quell the discomfort you might experience during a dental appointment, whether it is anxiety, gagging, or general fidgeting.
But what is dental sedation? Who is suitable for this type of treatment? And what can you expect before, during, and after your appointment?
At Symmetry Dental, we pride ourselves on providing clear, easy-to-understand descriptions of our practices, so today, we’re going to look at what dental sedation is and how it can help support your oral care appointments.
For more detail on our sedation practices or to get help managing a current dental concern, please book an appointment with our team today!
What Is Dental Sedation & When Is It Appropriate?
Dental sedation is a service designed to help manage potential anxiety and discomfort you or a loved one might experience during their dental appointment.
Providing care to patients with mental or physical disabilities
Health & Safety Standards
Before we can recommend sedation dentistry, we must ensure you or your loved one is healthy enough for the service. Although sedation dentistry is safe for a wide range of age groups, we might not recommend it if you or your loved one:
Has heart disease
Doesn’t satisfy the weight standards for sedation
Is too young or too old to be sedated safely
We will take a detailed look at your current and previous health history before recommending sedation dentistry.
What Types of Sedation Do We Offer?
Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask before we begin your appointment. It can help manage discomfort, gagging, and fidgeting throughout your appointment.
Symmetry Dental has not offer oral sedation.
What to Expect
Now let’s look at what you can expect before and after your sedation.
Of course, specific instructions may differ between patients, so please be sure to speak to our dental team for information relevant to your experience.
Before we book your sedation treatment, we’ll look at your current and previous medical history to ensure it’s safe for you to begin the treatment. While most people can have dental sedatives safely, specific health concerns may affect your candidacy.
Before your appointment, we’ll recommend fasting for at least 6 to 8 hours and may ask you to stop consuming liquids for 2 hours before your appointment. We’ll also ask you to stop drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
When you come in, please let us know if you’ve taken other medications before your appointment.
Please make sure you have alternative transportation options after your appointment. While the sedatives wear off over time, they may last longer in some individuals than others.
We’ll monitor your heart rate, skin colour, and respiratory rate throughout your appointment.
After nitrous oxide sedation, we may administer oxygen for about 5 minutes to help you recover. One of our team members will continuously observe your recovery and make sure you reach an objective level of pre-sedation consciousness before you can leave.
Book Your Appointment Today
Whether you’re looking for help managing your dental anxiety or if you struggle with discomfort during more invasive dental procedures, please speak to our team to see if sedation dentistry is right for you. Book your appointment today at Symmetry Dental if you’re ready to get help managing your oral health and achieving the crisp, pearly-white smile you’ve always wanted.
Dental anxiety is a common issue that affects a significant portion of the population. Many people avoid necessary dental care due to fear and discomfort. However, there are solutions that can help alleviate these concerns and ensure that individuals receive the dental care they need. One such solution is dental sedation. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what dental sedation is, how it works, what to expect before and after the procedure, and the different types of sedation available. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how dental sedation can make your dental experience more comfortable and less stressful. I. Understanding Dental Sedation Dental sedation involves the use of medication to help patients relax and manage their anxiety during dental procedures. It is particularly useful for patients with dental phobias, sensitive gag reflexes, or low pain thresholds. There are different levels of sedation, ranging from minimal to deep sedation, and your dentist will recommend the appropriate one based on your specific needs and the complexity of the procedure. The various types of dental sedation include: Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): Nitrous oxide is a commonly used, minimal sedation method. It is administered through a mask placed over the patient’s nose. Nitrous oxide helps you relax and can make you feel euphoric, which is why it’s often referred to as “laughing gas.” This type of sedation is fast-acting and wears off quickly after the procedure. Oral Sedation: Oral sedation involves taking a prescribed pill before the procedure. The medication can range from mild to moderate sedation, depending on the dosage. Patients who choose oral sedation are typically awake during the procedure but experience a deep sense of relaxation. It is an excellent option for those with moderate dental anxiety. IV Sedation: Intravenous (IV) sedation is administered through a vein, ensuring a precise and adjustable level of sedation. This method is often used for more complex procedures or patients with severe dental phobias. Patients under IV sedation may have limited or no recollection of the procedure. General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is the deepest form of sedation. It is typically used for extensive oral surgery or in cases where the patient needs to be completely unconscious. A certified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist administers and monitors the anesthesia during the procedure. II. Before the Dental Sedation Procedure Before your dental sedation procedure, there are several essential steps to take: Consultation with Your Dentist: It’s crucial to have an initial consultation with your dentist to discuss your concerns and medical history. This conversation will help determine the type of sedation that is most suitable for your specific needs. Medical History Review: Be prepared to provide a comprehensive medical history, including any allergies, medications you’re taking, and any existing health conditions. This information is essential for your dentist to make a safe and effective sedation plan. Fasting: Depending on the type of sedation, your dentist may instruct you to fast for a certain period before the procedure. For instance, if you’re undergoing IV sedation or general anesthesia, you might need to refrain from eating or drinking for a specified time to reduce the risk of complications. Transportation: As dental sedation can impair your ability to drive, it’s crucial to arrange for someone to take you to and from the dental appointment. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment, and make sure to bring layers in case you feel cold during the procedure. III. During the Dental Sedation Procedure During the dental sedation procedure, you can expect the following: Monitoring: Regardless of the type of sedation, you will be continuously monitored throughout the procedure to ensure your safety. Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels are closely observed. Communication: Your dentist and their team will communicate with you throughout the procedure to ensure your comfort and well-being. They will be attentive to your needs and adjust the sedation as necessary. Relaxation: One of the primary benefits of dental sedation is that you will feel relaxed and at ease during the procedure. You may experience a sense of detachment from what is happening, and some types of sedation can induce amnesia, reducing your memory of the procedure. Pain Management: Dental sedation does not replace the need for local anesthesia, which is used to numb the area being treated. You may still receive a local anesthetic injection to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Procedure Duration: The duration of the dental procedure will depend on its complexity. Dental sedation allows for more extensive treatments to be completed in a single visit, saving you time and reducing the need for multiple appointments. IV. After the Dental Sedation Procedure The post-sedation period is just as important as the procedure itself. Here’s what you can expect after your dental sedation: Recovery Area: After the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery area where you can rest and fully recover from the sedation. Your vital signs will continue to be monitored during this time. Disorientation: It’s common to feel disoriented or groggy immediately after the procedure. This disorientation will vary depending on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide patients typically recover quickly, while patients who have received IV sedation or general anesthesia may need more time. Side Effects: You may experience side effects such The post-sedation period is just as important as the procedure itself. Here’s what you can expect after your dental sedation: Recovery Area: After the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery area where you can rest and fully recover from the sedation. Your vital signs will continue to be monitored during this time. Disorientation: It’s common to feel disoriented or groggy immediately after the procedure. This disorientation will vary depending on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide patients typically recover quickly, while patients who have received IV sedation or general anesthesia may need more time. Side Effects: You may experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or a headache after the procedure. These side effects are usually temporary and can be managed by the dental team. Rest and Recovery: It’s essential to rest and recover at home after the procedure. You may need to take the day off work or school, depending on the type of sedation used. Your dentist will provide specific post-procedure instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. Limited Activities: Avoid strenuous activities, including driving and operating heavy machinery, for at least 24 hours after the procedure. This is crucial as the effects of sedation can linger, impairing your coordination and judgment. Dietary Restrictions: Depending on the type of sedation used, you may be advised to stick to a soft or liquid diet for a short period after the procedure. This is to prevent choking or aspiration in case you have lingering effects from the sedation.
Dr. Saleema Adatia earned her Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD) from Tufts University in 2006. Since then, she’s been committed to serving her patients’ needs with the utmost passion. Dr. Adatia has owned and operated Symmetry Dental since 2013 and has integrated high-quality services with friendly care into the philosophy of the practice.
With a goal of providing the best patient care possible, Dr. Adatia ensures that her practice stays up to date with the latest dental technologies and techniques. Her personal passion for dentistry stems from a desire to create a positive impact on each patient’s quality of life. Whether that means treating people’s pain or restoring function and beauty to their smiles, the goal is always the same: to help make patient’s lives just a little bit better by working together in harmony.