The greatest majority of people mistake sedation dentistry with general anaesthesia.
With dental sedation you are not going to enter a deep sleep like you do when under general anaesthesia; it is only that you are going to be put in a state of extreme relaxation, and after the treatment you will not even remember what has happened during the procedure. There are three main types of dentistry sedation techniques available:
Oral dental sedation – this is when the dentist offers you anti anxiety pills or a liquid which must be taken 1-2 hours before the procedure.
You must be extremely careful because if you need to take these pills at home, you cannot drive to the appointment. You should have someone take you to the appointment and then take you back home.
The effect of the pills can interfere with your driving skills, and you will feel extremely sleepy and in a weird state of confusion.
Inhalation sedation dentistry – this is also called nitrous oxide sedation or laughing gas sedation. This type of dental sedation is done in the office, and it is usually performed on patients who struggle with dental phobia and anxiousness.
After the sedative takes effect, you may experience at first a tingling sensation, sensations of warmthness, euphoria and a feeling of “floating”. The greatest majority of patients said they were able to get the needed dental treatment thanks to this type of sedation.
Intravenous Dental Sedation – this is when the sedative is going to be administered right into the bloodstream through a vein in your arm. This way the sedative acts the quickest.
During IV dental sedation you will remain conscious, and you will also be quite responsive (answering the questions of the dentist, following his directions, etc.). IV dental sedation will not allow you to remember too many things about what has happened during the treatment because you will be in an extremely deep state of relaxation, and IV sedation is also responsible for causing a partial/full memory loss for the period you are being sedated.
Even though you will “think” you have been asleep during the procedure because you can’t remember anything, you were actually awake but in a very deep state of relaxation.
You should never allow dental phobia getting in your way of receiving the routine and preventative dental care that you need. This way, you might end up with serious dental complications that will need to be treated in the emergency room, when the dental problem is so complex you might need to go through surgery and other such treatments with a painful aftermath.
Even though the dental treatment lasted for hours under sedation, you will “feel” that time has passed incredibly fast (this is one of the benefits of sedation). Unfortunately, dental insurance will not cover for dental sedation therapies, so you will need to pay for the sedation out of pocket.
However, it is worth the financial effort, because this might be the only way in which you can go through the dental treatments you require so much.