What Does Conscious Sedation Feel Like?

What Does Conscious Sedation Feel Like?

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Have you developed dental fear over the years that kept you away from your dentist?

Thankfully, dental practices today can now help you with things other than your teeth, such as dental anxiety or dentophobia. Sedation dentistry offers several levels of sedation depending on your condition, including conscious sedation, oral sedation, and general anesthesia. 

If you or your kids need some support to relax during your dental treatment, conscious sedation or nitrous oxide is the best solution for you. 

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation is a nitrous oxide inhalation approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) as a safe means to relax anxious young and adult patients in the dental setting. You will be awake during the dental treatment but will be less likely to feel any pain and will be more relaxed than you used to. 

Inhalation sedation using nitrous oxide wears off fast, so it is the most recommended sedation for patients who are driving home and children with dental anxiety. It is a type of sedation done within the dental practice and without the presence of an anesthesiologist. 

Of all the levels of sedation available today, nitrous oxide inhalation is also the mildest form which will not likely make you sleepy, unlike other sedation techniques.

How does it work?

If you are curious about conscious sedation, here’s how it works:

  • Your dentist will use nitrous oxide or the laughing gas using a nasal hood to keep you relaxed during your treatment. You will be inhaling oxygen and nitrous oxide, which will serve as a sedative and a local anesthetic so you won’t feel pain. 
  • The amount of sedation will be based on the level of your anxiety. Your dentist can adjust this during the dental treatment if you feel dizzy or need to be more relaxed.
  • Once you inhale the laughing gas, it only takes a few minutes for the anesthetic to reach your brain and take effect.
  • You may start to feel sleepy or light-headed and experience a tingling sensation in your arms and legs. For this type of sedation, you will be awake throughout the whole dental procedure to understand the verbal commands of your dentist.
  • After the treatment, your dentist will close the valve for the nitrous oxide and leave the oxygen open. The oxygen will help flush out the nitrous oxide in your lungs. 
  • You will be back to your senses once the nitrous oxide leaves your body. After that, it is most likely safe for you to drive and go back to your normal routine. 

Extreme dental fear or anxiety may require deep sedation. A severe case of dental fear is usually treated with general anesthesia, done in a hospital, and supervised by an anesthesiologist. 

Get your dental treatments with ease at Soft Touch Dental 

Dental fear is common in children and adults with bad dental experiences. The good thing is treatments like conscious sedation make it possible for patients to receive dental care despite their extreme dental anxieties.  

Soft Touch Dental is one of the leading providers of conscious sedation in Florissant, MO. Let our dental team know your condition and your fears to help you get the dental care you need. Schedule an appointment today, or contact us so we can adjust to your possible triggers. 

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