What Does Dental Sedation Feel Like?

September 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Steve Koo @ 6:21 pm
Relaxed, happy dental patient in treatment chair

It is common for patients to experience some anxiety or nervousness about oral surgery. They wonder if the experience will be uncomfortable or even painful. You can be sure that your care team will do all they can to help you have a relaxing, smooth appointment. In fact, thanks to sedation, you may feel little to nothing while your surgeon is working! What exactly is dental sedation, and what does it feel like? This blog post provides valuable information.

What Is Dental Sedation?

“Dental sedation” is a term that can refer to any of several methods that are commonly used to help patients remain relaxed, calm, and comfortable during treatments. It can even reduce your body’s response to pain. Some of the most popular forms of sedation include:

  • Nitrous oxide. This is a gas that you inhale through a nasal mask.
  • Oral conscious sedation. You take a pill before your appointment.
  • Intravenous (IV) sedation. Your care team administers sedative medications directly into your bloodstream.
  • General anesthesia. This is used to induce complete unconsciousness.

What Do the Various Forms of Sedation Feel Like?

Exactly what you experience while under the influence of sedation depends on the type of sedation that your oral surgery team uses.

  • Nitrous oxide induces a relaxed feeling. You might feel like you are floating, and some patients get the giggles while under its influence. Therefore, it is sometimes called “laughing gas.
  • Oral conscious sedation is more powerful than nitrous oxide. You may feel that your body is very heavy. Drowsiness is also common. You might drift off to sleep, but it should be easy for your oral surgery team to wake you up.
  • IV sedation feels similar to oral conscious sedation, but its effects can be even more potent. It is sometimes referred to as “twilight sedation” because, although it does not cause unconsciousness, it is quite common for patients to fall asleep.
  • General anesthesia causes complete unconsciousness and total unawareness of one’s surroundings.

Most types of sedation cause effects that linger for several hours (perhaps even up to a full day) following the appointment. Therefore, you should expect to feel groggy and tired for a while after you get home.

Is Dental Sedation Right for You?

In most cases, whether or not to use dental sedation is a personal choice. If you are nervous about your upcoming oral surgery, have a sensitive gag reflex, or find it difficult to sit still for a long time, sedation may be perfect for you. Ask your care provider to help you weigh the pros and cons of your options so you can make a well-informed decision.

Dental sedation is a wonderful provision for most oral surgery patients! It can help you to enjoy a painless, relaxed experience no matter what procedure you are undergoing.

Meet the Practice

Drs. Steve Koo and William Shepard are the board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Katy/Cypress. Our team offers multiple levels of sedation so each patient can have a comfortable experience in our office. To learn more about how we may be able to serve you, get in touch at 832-353-1100.