Sedation Dentistry: What to Expect

If you’re interested in sedation dentistry to ensure that your dental experience is comfortable and more enjoyable, Dr. Darrah at Buckwalter Dental Care can help. Our approach to sedation is communicative and informative because we want you to feel confident in the care you receive at our office. Wondering what to expect when you opt for laughing gas during your procedure? Here’s everything you need to know:

Laughing Gas: Procedure & Effects

Laughing gas is delivered into your lungs through a comfortable nose mask. During your procedure, you will breathe deeply through your nose whenever Dr. Darrah instructs you to do so, and he will carefully control your level of sedation to keep you feeling comfortable and safe.

While receiving laughing gas, most patients experience effects like euphoria (happiness) and feelings of being “floaty” or “disconnected” from their bodies. Laughing gas also makes you feel more comfortable and relaxed, and minimizes feelings of anxiety. It has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, which can be helpful if you have a very low pain tolerance.

Post-Op: What to Expect After Sedation

One of the best things about sedation with laughing gas is that it wears off quite quickly after your procedure. About 3-5 minutes after Dr. Darrah stops administering the sedative, you’ll feel completely normal. You can even drive yourself home or go back to work after being sedated with laughing gas.

However, there are some rare after-effects that you may experience.These include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating or shivering

These effects tend to wear off within a few minutes, and are nothing to be concerned about. 

Oral Conscious Sedation: Procedure & Effects

Oral conscious sedation consists of a pill-based or liquid sedative. A strong anti-anxiety medication will be used to sedate you, and you’ll typically take this sedative about 1-2 hours before your appointment.

This method of sedation is deeper than sedation with laughing gas. You may feel drowsy and sleepy, and it’s not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during their procedure. However, you will not be unconscious during your procedure. You may forget most of what happens throughout your procedure at Buckwalter Dental Care. This is a better choice for patients with severe anxiety, or those who are undergoing a more invasive procedure like a tooth extraction.

Post-Op: What to Expect After Oral Conscious Sedation  

The after-effects of oral conscious sedation are more intense and last much longer compared to nitrous oxide. You will be unable to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 4-6 hours after your procedure, so you cannot go back to work and you cannot drive yourself home. You will need to make appropriate arrangements before your procedure. 

Some of the common after-effects you may experience during this time include:

  • Feelings of sluggishness or heaviness
  • Drowsiness
  • Anterograde amnesia (forgetting what happened during the procedure)
  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Slow reflexes

As the effects of the medication wear off, these after-effects will become less intense, and should disappear within about 6 hours. 

Find Out What Method Of Sedation Is Right For You! 

Interested in sedation dentistry in Bluffton? At Buckwalter Dental Care, we’re here to help. Dr. Darrah is an experienced sedation dentist. Just contact us to discuss your dental anxiety, and we can help you decide what type of sedation is right for you. Give us a call now at (843) 815-3232 to get started, or send us a message here.

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