Advances in dentistry have made it easier for both patients and professionals to carry out even the most complex surgical procedures with minimal discomfort. Still, some individuals feel insecure and avoid treating their dental issues for long periods of time due to their anxiety about the procedures. This can be quite a mistake, especially when you consider that many oral health issues can worsen over time if left untreated. Here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery, we understand your concerns and are pleased to offer various types of sedation so you can feel as safe and comfortable as possible while in our care.
Should I Receive Sedation?
Deciding the type of sedation you would need, or if you need it at all, will be determined during the assessment prior to any procedure you have with us. Each patient has their own needs, so you will need to discuss your medical history and past experiences with anesthesia with us before we begin. Sedation is commonly used in individuals with strong gag reflexes, low pain tolerance, sensitive teeth, or dental phobias. Some patients can do just fine without it, but even then, it may be recommended during long or highly stimulating procedures, including full mouth reconstructions, multiple tooth replacements with dental implants, bone and gum grafts, or treatment of oral pathologies.
Types of Sedation
The different sedation options are categorized in levels. Minimal sedation, for instance, provides mild relaxation and full consciousness. It is widely-known as “laughing gas,” which is nitrous oxide breathed in through a mask. The effects of the gas start almost right after you put on the mask, and they also fade away shortly after you pull it off. Local anesthesia, which is used to numb regions receiving a procedure to avoid discomfort, is also considered minimal sedation.
Oral sedation involves the use of prescribed pills and leaves you in a mild to moderate drowsiness state, where you will be able to communicate and know what is happening at all times. However, you may forget what happened during the operation afterwards. The pills used in this type of sedation usually take effect an hour following ingestion.
Deeper sedation techniques include the intravenous injection of a sedation drug (IV sedation) through one of your hands or arm. It will make you serene and barely aware of the procedure. Our team can adjust the dose throughout specific parts of a surgery so you can communicate with us, and you will be carefully monitored while being sedated. In extreme situations, you may be given the option to use general anesthesia, which will completely put you to sleep.
What to Expect After Being Sedated
Higher levels of sedation can make you feel groggy for hours after the procedure, or even the entire day (such as in the case of IV sedation or general anesthesia). You can expect to feel completely normal the next morning. It is important, if not obligatory, that you bring someone with you who can drive you home and help you out while being woozy. You may also experience mild amnesia and forget what happened after you are sedated.
Here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery, we will be happy to answer all of your questions. For more information about your sedation options, or to set up an appointment at our office, please call us at 304-343-5161 today.