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What’s it Like to Be Sedated For Dental Work?

Certain dental treatments can make some patients feel anxious or worried. Rather than having patients feel this way, an increasing number of dentists offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is where the patient is sedated during the treatment. Sedation makes things easier for the patient, and it also can make things easier for the dentist in terms of not having to constantly stop work to get the patient to relax again. If you’ve never been sedated, you probably have questions about what the experience is like.

How is Dental Sedation Administered?

Your dentist may offer one or more kinds of dental sedation. Depending upon your preference and the nature of the treatment, one kind may be considered better than another.

The first thing to know is how sedation is administered to the patient. Dental sedation is administered a little differently depending on what kind of sedation is being given. The overall types of administration are:

  • IV sedation, in which sedation is administered with a needle
  • Oral sedation, in which sedation is administered with a pill
  • Laughing Gas sedation, in which sedation is administered through a mask

What Does it Feel Like to Be Sedated?

Being sedated at the dentist’s office isn’t like going under anesthesia for hospital surgery. The overall sensation is very mild and gentle, and there’s little to no chance that you’ll feel “funny” or “weird” afterward. It’s very similar to feeling very relaxed, almost like being in a meditative state. The sensation varies slightly depending on which kind you receive:

  • Laughing gas sedation may actually make you smile or laugh a little. Basically, you will just feel like you’re in a good mood. You’ll still be conscious during the treatment, but you won’t take it seriously; nothing will bother you about the treatment.
  • With oral sedation, you’ll take a prescribed sedative of a certain dosage prior to your treatment. You will be awake during the treatment, but you may not recall everything afterward.
  • With IV sedation, you’ll be fully aware, but you may feel “removed” from the treatment, almost like you’re watching it happen to someone else.

Whenever you undergo sedation, you’ll be closely monitored by your dental staff. For more specific information about sedation dentistry options, talk to your dentist.

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