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What Does Dental Sedation Feel Like?

April 6, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlee @ 2:02 am
close-up of an iv sedative

If you’re getting surgery soon, you’ve probably studied everything you can about the procedure itself. But there’s an important feature of oral surgery you may not know as much about—sedation.

Sedation is great for anyone who is a little ill at ease in the dentist’s office and is particularly well-suited to longer oral surgeries. If you’re interested in sedation, however, you may wonder how it might feel. If you’re curious, here’s some information that may be useful to you.

What Does Sedation Feel Like?

Not all sedation is the same. Dentists, and surgeons especially, have a wide variety of anesthetics at their disposal. Each of them varies in strength, and therefore how they actually feel.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Feel Like?

Among the sedatives, nitrous oxide tends to be the weakest. In fact, this style of sedative is what’s typically given to children who are nervous at the dentist’s office.

Your dentist will place a mask over your nose to allow you to inhale the gas. Patients will feel calm and easy, but will also be completely aware of their surroundings and capable of responding to instructions.

What Does IV Sedation Feel Like?

IV sedation is, as you would imagine, administered through an IV. It’s considerably stronger than nitrous oxide, so it’s better for longer procedures or severe dental anxiety. However, you’ll still be completely conscious—albeit drowsy—during the procedure. Your dentist will also monitor your vitals closely to ensure that the flow of the drug is at its ideal rate.

What Does General Anesthesia Feel Like?

Unlike the other sedatives, general anesthesia doesn’t feel like much of anything. Within moments, a dentist can have you completely unconscious for the duration of the appointment.

General anesthesia entails a few more risks than other sedatives, so it’s used much more rarely than nitrous oxide or IV sedation. Typically it’s reserved for patients who are undergoing incredibly long treatment, or special needs patients with a profound fear of dentists.

Sedation comes in many forms, which means that there’s a drug perfect for you! If you’ve been avoiding the dentist out of anxiety, sedation dentistry can help you get the care you deserve.

About the Author

Dr. Jeff Lee knows that not everyone is as big of a fan of dental surgery as he is, but he works hard to share his love of his field with everyone who comes into his office. Hopefully, you’ll leave feeling the same way he does. Dr. Lee received his degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, then completed his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

If you have any questions about dental sedation, we can be reached at our website. You can also call our Marietta location at (740) 236-9392.

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