There are different types of sedation used in dentistry; the procedure involved will dictate what is appropriate for you. Minor procedures and anxious patients may only require nitrous oxide where the patient relaxes into a mild state of euphoria. Oral sedation is more appropriate for extremely anxious patients or those that cannot sit or recline for extended periods; and IV sedation is usually reserved for surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions.
Every patient is different so the level of sedation dentistry should be taken into consideration for each individual and for the procedure to be performed. Your oral surgeon will consult with you to discuss your procedure and your overall health. An extensive dental examination is included.
When oral surgery is performed, IV sedation is usually recommended. The assumption that a general anesthetic is used is a little misleading. For a patient to be administered a general anesthetic, an anesthesiologist must be present. For oral surgery, the oral surgeon has been trained in IV oral sedation; the patient is continually monitored for their safety and comfort; and usually can be aroused fairly quickly following the procedure.
For many types of dental sedation, the patient feels like they slept throughout their procedure. Memories of the procedure are vague, if present at all. They will have minimal recollection, sometimes struggling to remember their arrival and/or departure from their appointment.
Patients must have reliable transportation as they are unable to drive following sedation (with the exception of nitrous oxide where the effects dissipate as soon as delivery stops). All other types of sedation have lingering effects so the patient is directed to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. The patient may feel somewhat groggy; and resting is best to control bleeding.
With IV oral sedation, the patient may have been advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight before their procedure. This may mean the patient might be somewhat dehydrated so drinking lots of water is recommended following oral surgery. Soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, ice cream, or scrambled eggs are ideal.
Any discomfort following oral surgery may be controlled with an over the counter medication; ice packs may be helpful to control swelling and possible bruising. The patient can resume eating regular foods as soon as they feel able to do so.
If you have more questions, contact our office before your appointment to ask them!