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What Should I Expect After My Dental Sedation Appointment?

Will you be undergoing dental sedation for an upcoming procedure? After your visit, you might be wondering what to do next. Our North Vancouver dentists offer tips on what to remember and how you might feel.

What is oral conscious sedation?

The primary goal of oral conscious sedation is to alleviate pain and discomfort while putting you at ease during your dental procedure. This type of sedation is used for a variety of procedures, including teeth cleanings, root canals, and endoscopes. Patients who have a strong gag reflex, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems, fear of pain, or a high sensitivity to touch may benefit from this medication.

Your dentist will prescribe the appropriate dose of this mild to moderate sedation, as well as pre-and post-sedation instructions. You'll need to take an oral liquid or pill about an hour before your dental appointment. To alleviate anxiety-related insomnia, you may need to take a dose the night before the procedure.

During treatment, you will be in a relaxed state of consciousness. Having said that, you'll remain responsive and awake, and you shouldn't feel any pain.

What is IV sedation?

IV sedation refers to several medications that can be directly administered into the bloodstream through the vein to offer the deepest level of sedation short of general anesthesia. 

Will I feel any side effects from sedation dentistry?

During your appointment, you may fall asleep due to drowsiness or grogginess caused by moderate sedation. Having said that, your dental team will be able to gently shake you awake. As is the case with many medications, the effects of sedation vary according to the individual taking it. Patients typically report only minor side effects following their appointment. You may have noticed that you have:

Oral Conscious Sedation

  • Low blood pressure
  • Mild headache 
  • Sluggish reflexes
  • Drowsiness 
  • Amnesia (only for the period of time you are sedated) 
  • Dry mouth

IV Sedation

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Watery eyes

Both Oral Conscious Sedation & IV Sedation

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches

All of these symptoms should go away within 24 hours of taking an oral sedative. Remember that not all patients will experience side effects and that the severity will vary.

Are there potential complications with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation?

Oral conscious sedation is relatively safe, with few side effects. While you are sedated, our team will keep a close eye on your vital signs.

Before prescribing an oral sedative, your dentist will need to know about your medical history, as certain health conditions may preclude you from using this option due to an increased risk of complications.

If you are obese or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you and your dentist should discuss other options if possible, as these two health conditions can cause complications, making oral conscious sedation too dangerous.

While all medical procedures carry some risk, the use of IV sedation under the supervision of a trained professional is relatively safe. The most serious risk is oversedation, which will be managed by the dental team through careful monitoring. While sedated, patients are not left alone.

You'll also want to double-check that your dentist is qualified to administer sedation. Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation are both administered safely by Seymour Dental Clinic

What can I expect during recovery?

You may need one or several hours to recover from sedation, depending on the type and level of sedation administered by your dentist. During this time, your dental team will closely monitor you to ensure that your vital signs remain stable as they return to normal.

Your dentist will inform you if you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment. For your own safety, we recommend taking the day off, not operating heavy machinery, and avoiding physical activity while the sedative wears off. These effects should be gone in 24 hours.

Have more questions about dental sedation? Contact Seymour Dental Centre so we can answer any questions you have remaining.

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