Sedation dentistry is for people who experience moderate to severe dental anxiety to the point that it prevents them from receiving the care they need from their dentist.
During a typical sedation dentistry appointment, you’ll be given an anti-anxiety medication upon your arrival, which will help you relax during your procedure. However, there are different levels and types of sedation that your dentist may offer based on your procedure and your level of anxiety.
But is sedation dentistry safe? Here’s what you need to know when considering elective
sedation at the dentist’s office!
All Types of Sedation Dentistry Are Considered to Be Safe
When proper guidelines are followed, sedation dentistry is considered to be a safe and effective practice for patients . It’s important to work with an experienced dentist who offers sedation dentistry to better meet your unique needs when it comes to receiving dental care.
Not every dental practice offers sedation for patients with dental anxiety. If you’re looking for a dentist to partner with for your oral care needs and think sedation dentistry could be helpful for you, it’s best to find a dentist who offers sedation and speak with them more about their options for your comfort.
Potential Risks of Sedation Dentistry
Dentists that offer sedation take extra care to monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and temperature to ensure that you’re safe before, during, and after your procedure.
While children tend to tolerate sedation dentistry well, people who are obese or suffer from sleep apnea present unique challenges . Sedation dentistry can still be done if you are overweight or have sleep apnea, and your dentist will discuss any risks with you and take extra precautions to ensure your safety.
Although rare, there is a small chance that you would have an allergic reaction to the medication used during your sedation procedure . If you have any known allergies, be sure to inform your dentist prior to your appointment. Your dentist will make every effort to ensure a safe procedure!
Can You Drive Yourself Home Afterward?
There are different levels of sedation you may choose to have. The following are the most
common levels and whether or not you can drive yourself home after the appointment:
- Nitrous oxide. Better known as laughing gas, this is the lightest level of sedation, and its effects don’t last very long. You can typically drive yourself home after the procedure.
- Oral sedation. The level of sedation will vary based on your dose, but you’ll usually need someone to drive you home following your appointment.
- Moderate sedation. Typically done intravenously, this level of sedation can be easily adjusted, but will still require you to have transportation home afterward.
- General anesthesia. The effects will last the longest in this level of sedation, so you’ll need to be driven home after your appointment.
Your dentist will discuss specific aftercare instructions with you before your appointment so that you know what to expect.
Considering Sedation Dentistry?
If your dental anxiety has prevented you from getting the oral care you need, sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to receive dental care while feeling comfortable. Consider looking for dentists that offer sedation dentistry in your area!