Top Questions to Ask About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is ideal for patients who have a fear of the dentist and associated sounds or smells, have very sensitive teeth, or have a complex dental issue requiring a long visit. Here are some questions to pose to your dentist when considering sedation dentistry.

Woman in dental chair smiling and looking at hand mirror

1. Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes. However, before any sedative is administered, you will have a consultation with your dentist to review your medical history. Patients are monitored very closely during sedation.

2. What types of sedation dentistry are there?

Though oral sedation is primarily being addressed here, there are several sedation dentistry options that vary from oral sedation to full anesthesia.

  • In oral sedation, a sedative called Triazolam (or a similar prescription) is given to the patient. Triazolam is in the same family as Valium and is prescribed to thousands of patients a year as a safe and reliable sleeping aid. The drug enforcement administration has categorized it as just one level higher than common aspirin. There has never been an emergency or death associated with the use of this particular sedation for dental patients.
  • Inhaled minimal sedation involves breathing in nitrous oxide also known as “laughing gas”. This option is administered through a mask placed over your nose.
  • If oral sedation is not enough, intravenous sedation can be used. In this situation, a sedative medication is administered through a small needle or catheter placed in a vein.
  • The fourth option is general anesthesia, which requires an anesthesiologist to be present in order to monitor heart rate and life support functions. During anesthesia, the patient is completely asleep.

3. How long will the medication last?

Oral sedation medication acts quickly, the majority of which the body uses up within the first two hours. After the procedure, it may take a few hours for the medication to fully wear off. It is recommended that you have a driver available to pick you up from the dentist’s office.

4. What does feeling sedated feel like?

At the end of the treatment, you’ll likely have little memory of sitting in the dentist’s chair. When sedated, you will feel limp, relaxed, and lethargic.

5. Will I be Aware and in Control?

During oral sedation, patients are closely monitored. You will be relaxed and vaguely aware of the procedure, but the dentist and their team will make it their goal to keep you comfortable and relaxed.

At Dental Partners of Boston, let us address your dental sedation concerns and questions. Call us today to schedule a consultation. Our goal is for you to feel completely comfortable during your dental procedure.

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