General anesthesia is a method of sedation in which you will be put to sleep for the entire duration of your dental treatment. This is more common for complex procedures such as oral surgery. Medicines that put you to sleep will be administered and you will not be conscious during the procedure, and will be unable to respond or feel any pain.
You will wake up with no recollection of the procedure. You will not be able to drive home afterward and will feel very tired for the rest of the day. You should have another adult monitor you for at least 8 hours after your procedure and get plenty of rest.
Nitrous Oxide - Nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is administered alongside oxygen through a gas mask that is inhaled by the patient. Nitrous oxide has a quick onset so the effects of the sedative will be felt almost immediately. The effects of nitrous oxide include feeling very relaxed, euphoric, and giddy.
Some people may experience fits of laughter which is why it is nicknamed laughing gas. Nitrous oxide works by slowing down the brain and body’s responses. While nitrous oxide is considered an extremely safe and mild sedative, some patients may experience visual and auditory hallucinations or an inability to think straight.
The only necessary preparation for nitrous oxide is to fast for 2 hours before the treatment. Once the treatment is done, Dr. Bonner Morren will flood the mask with oxygen and the sedative will wear off quickly, within a few minutes.
Oral Conscious Sedation - Oral conscious sedation involves taking an anti-anxiety pill an hour before your dental appointment which will help to reduce dental anxiety and cause feelings of calmness. You will not be able to drive to or from your appointment, so you must arrange for rides on the day of your treatment.
Oral conscious sedation takes longer to kick in than nitrous oxide and can be a mild or moderate sedative depending on the dosage of the medication. Oral conscious sedation will cause drowsiness but you will still be fully conscious. If you receive a larger dose, you may fall asleep in the dental chair but it won’t be difficult to wake you up.
Dental sedation is generally considered safe, but the exact risks associated with sedation vary depending on the level of sedation, your medical history, and how you respond to sedation. Most people of all ages respond well to nitrous oxide, which is considered the safest and least-invasive sedative.
This method of sedation is commonly used on children to help them feel relaxed and be more cooperative. As you increase the level of sedation in intensity, the associated risks increase. However, as long as you are receiving sedation from a highly trained, licensed, and experienced professional who has verified your medical history, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Your Austin dentist will monitor you throughout your treatment to ensure that you have adequate oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. They will also be prepared to reverse the effects of sedation if any complications were to arise.
The duration of sedation can vary depending on several factors. The type of sedation used plays a significant role. For instance, nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, wears off relatively quickly. Once the gas supply is stopped, its effects diminish within minutes, allowing you or your child to resume normal activities soon after the procedure.
Oral sedation, on the other hand, typically takes longer to wear off. It involves taking a prescribed medication before the appointment and ensuring relaxation during the procedure. The effects can last several hours, and it's essential to have a responsible adult accompany the patient home.
For more complex procedures or cases that require deep sedation or general anesthesia, the recovery time may be longer. These methods are administered intravenously and require a supervised recovery period until the effects completely wear off. The dental team will provide specific guidelines and instructions to ensure a safe and smooth recovery.
It's important to remember that each person's response to sedation can vary, and factors such as age, overall health, and individual metabolism may influence how quickly the effects wear off. Your Austin dentist will assess your specific situation and provide personalized guidance.
Dental procedures under sedation are virtually painless, however, patients might feel a bit of pressure and movement but no pain. If you feel pain under sedation, notify your dentist immediately. It's also important to communicate openly with your dentist about any concerns or past experiences you have had with pain during dental procedures. This allows them to tailor the sedation and anesthesia protocols specific to your needs, ensuring a pain-free experience.
Typically, you’ll be instructed to avoid food and beverages for a certain period before the procedure. This is to ensure your safety and prevent any complications during sedation. It's crucial to follow these instructions meticulously, as consuming food or drinks can interfere with the sedation process and potentially affect the procedure. Your dentist will provide clear instructions and a specific timeline for fasting, so be sure to adhere to them for a smooth and successful sedation experience.
If you experience dental anxiety, you're not alone. Many people feel anxious or fearful when it comes to dental visits. The good news is that dental sedation can be an excellent solution for easing your anxiety and making your dental experience more comfortable.
Sedation dentistry offers different levels of relaxation, depending on your needs. From mild sedation to deep sedation or general anesthesia, there are options to suit various levels of anxiety and the complexity of the procedure.
By opting for dental sedation, you can experience a sense of calm and tranquility during your appointment. The sedative medications are carefully administered to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety, allowing you to undergo necessary dental treatments without stress.
Dental sedation can also benefit individuals with a sensitive gag reflex, difficulty sitting still for extended periods, or a low pain threshold. It can make lengthy procedures feel shorter and more manageable, enhancing your overall experience.
It's important to discuss your dental anxiety with your dentist openly. They will evaluate your specific needs and recommend the most suitable sedation option for you. With dental sedation, you can overcome your anxiety and receive the necessary dental care in a stress-free environment.