Sedation dentistry is the practice of sedating a patient before a dental procedure or surgery. Sedation can take many forms. Mild sedation allows the person to remain in a semi-conscious state, allowing them to respond to the doctor's requests and answer questions if they arise. General anesthesia can also be used in cases where putting the patient under is the best way to be able to perform the procedure. Sedation dentistry is extremely popular with patients who are afraid of the dentist or are susceptible to panic and anxiety attacks. Dentists have several ways to help put their patients at ease during extremely long or extensive procedures.
Individuals who have had traumatic experiences in the past and are afraid of going to the dentist or undergoing extensive procedures are ideal candidates for sedation dentistry. Sedation can also be used on children who are hyperactive or who are unaccustomed to the noises, smells, and the sight of the many different machines at a dentist's office. If a person is going to undergo an extremely long procedure, sedation dentistry may be offered to them as an option. It will allow them to remain relaxed throughout the procedure without becoming uncomfortable or irritated.
There are very few side effects from mild forms of sedation. Individuals who have problems either going under or coming out of general anesthesia may experience a few minor problems like upset stomach, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and irritability. Once the procedure is over, the doctor will have the patient remain in the office until all of the sedation medication has worn off. This will allow them to closely monitor the patient and document any possible side effects that may have presented as the medication was wearing off. In most cases, the doctor will recommend that the patient goes home and lie down or rest until they feel back to normal.