Sedation dentistry side effects

Patients who experience anxiety or phobia related to dental visits may postpone or cancel routine exams and cleanings, to the detriment of their oral health. Mild or moderate sedation are common ways for patients to remain comfortable and calm before and during a dental procedure, which can help them overcome their fear of dentists. Conscious sedation is a safe and effective solution to dental anxiety. Patients who have dental anxiety may also have worries associated with the administration of sedation or with any possible side effects.

Oral sedation is the safest option for patients because sedation is administered orally and does not require the use of needles. Because patients administer their own medication, taking it before their dental appointment, they can take the medication as early on as they want; for example, if you usually lose sleep the night before a dental appointment, orally administered sedation can relax you before your appointment, as well as during your dental procedure. While you will remain awake during your procedure, you will not feel anxiety, and local anesthetic will prevent any possible pain. Oral sedation has minimal side effects. These side effects may include drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and fogginess or loss of memory of the dental procedure. These minor side effects usually resolve within a few hours, and, for most people, the benefits of oral sedation dentistry far outweighs these side effects.

Other mild to moderate sedation techniques use inhaled nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is safe and gentle, so much so that it is frequently used with children. In the rare cases where there are side effects, these may include nausea or vomiting, headaches, a feeling of faintness or dizziness, blurry vision, or excessive sweating or shivering. Patients may also find that nitrous oxide causes them to giggle uncontrollably, which is how it earned the name “laughing gas.”  The more severe of these symptoms is likely to be caused by an excessive dosage of nitrous oxide and these effects can easily be reduced by closely monitoring the dosage. Intravenous sedation is less commonly used, usually being reserved for very severe phobia or long-lasting, invasive dental surgeries. This type of sedation, administered with a needle into the vein, can cause minor swelling, bruising, or light bleeding at the injection site. While you will remain conscious during the procedure, many patients fall asleep while under IV sedation. Most patients are unaware of their surroundings while under IV sedation, and many forget the entire experience after it happens. While the sedation wears off, some patients experience drowsiness, dry mouth, lightheadedness, nausea, or headaches. With all types of sedation, it is important to bring someone with you to your dental appointment so that you will not have to drive while the sedation is wearing off, which is incredibly unsafe. You will also need to make sure your after care instructions are in writing, as it is unlikely you will remember them if you review them while coming out of sedation. Of course, the best way to avoid any side effects of sedation dentistry is to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits at home, which will minimize the number of dental visits you will need overall. Be sure to brush twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss or use a water pick daily to remove debris and the buildup of bacteria.

More on Sedation Dentistry : Oral Sedation Dentistry