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What should I expect after my dental sedation appointment?

What should I expect after my dental sedation appointment?

We've explored oral conscious dental sedation in-depth, but what's next after your appointment? Our Summerland dentists share what you should know and how you might feel.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

The primary purpose of oral conscious sedation is to reduce pain and discomfort and put you at ease during your dental procedure. This form of sedation is used for many procedures from teeth cleanings to root canals and endoscopes. Patients who have a gag reflex, fear of pain, high sensitivity to touch, strong gag reflex or issues with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may receive this medication to make the procedure easier.

Depending on the dose prescribed by your dentist, oral sedation is minimal to moderate. You'll take a pill or liquid orally, typically about an hour before your dental appointment. You may need to take a dose on the night before the procedure to mitigate anxiety-related insomnia. During treatment, you will be in a state of relaxed consciousness but will remain awake and responsive and you won't experience any pain.

Are there side effects of sedation dentistry?

The pill may have you feeling drowsy and you may feel groggy enough from moderate sedation to fall asleep during the procedure. That said, you can usually be awakened with a gentle shake. Like many medications, effects of sedation differ from person to person. Typically, patients feel very minor side effects. Following your appointment, you may feel:

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

All of these symptoms should disappear within 24 hours of sedation as the medication exits your system. Keep in mind that not all patients will experience side effects and severity of side effects may vary. 

Are there potential complications from oral conscious sedation? 

Oral conscious sedation is relatively safe and it's uncommon to experience complications with this form of sedation. Your vitals will be actively monitored throughout the period of time you are sedated. That said, it's important to notify your dentist about your medical history before you're prescribed an oral sedative. Certain health factors can eliminate this option due to increased risk of complications. 

If you are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea, you and your dentist may need to find another option if possible, as both of these health conditions can pose potential complications that mean oral conscious sedation is too high of a risk. 

In addition, confirm your dentist's qualifications. At Jubilee Dental Centre, our team is trained to administer oral conscious sedation safely. 

What can I expect from the recovery process?

Depending on the dosage administered, it can take up to an hour to recover from sedation. During this time, you'll be carefully monitored by your dentist and our team to ensure your vitals are stable as they return to their normal state. 

Depending on the level of sedation, recovery may take several hours. Your dentist will let you know if you'll need someone to drive you home after your appointment. We recommend planning ahead by booking the day off, having a friend or family member drive you to and from your appointment to ensure safety, and avoiding physical activity or operating heavy equipment while the sedative remains in your system. 

Keep in mind that some patients feel nauseated, groggy, sleepy or sluggish through the rest of the day as the sedative wears off. However, this should vanish within 24 hours. 

Do you have more questions about oral conscious sedation? Contact your Summerland dentist at Jubilee Dental Centre to schedule a consultation.

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