Fear of seeing a dentist is not unusual, and it’s certainly not limited to children. In a study, 58% of respondents reported having moderate to extreme anxiety in the days leading up to a dental procedure. It may also be the case that patients are not afraid but have some form of adverse reaction to procedures, such as experiencing a major gag reflex. This is where sedation dentistry comes in. One of the most common questions people ask is if they still feel some pain during sedation.
Before answering the question, let’s examine the different types of sedation. The three most common forms are as follows:
This is the form commonly known as laughing gas. The gas allows patients to relax deeply, making it a good option for those prone to anxiety. You remain fully conscious during the procedure. The gas wears off quickly once you stop breathing it in. Within minutes, you’ll be fully awake and are normally allowed to drive yourself home.
With this method, patients take an orally sedative drug prior to the operation. This may range anywhere from one hour to the night before the procedure. You remain awake during operation but feel immensely relaxed and often don’t remember much details of the procedure. The effects of the sedative may linger for the rest of the day, and you will require someone to drive you home.
IV Sedation comes in two variations. This first is known as “twilight,” which is like the oral and gas sedation. You remain conscious but very relaxed. The other is general anesthesia, in which you are asleep and totally unconscious. This one is generally reserved for patients who are extremely anxious or resistant to other forms of sedation.
With general anesthesia, you clearly will not feel any pain since you are completely unconscious. However, what about the other options? Most patients who undergo conscious sedation report little to no pain. Even when they do feel slight pain, it’s easily tolerable and feels more like a minor discomfort rather than the sensation we generally associate with pain. Some people report feeling slight pressure in the area being operated on, but again, the sensation is easily tolerable.
Keep in mind, though, that once the procedure is done and the sedation wears off, you will feel normal pain as the teeth and gums are in the process of healing. This is where pain medication comes in. Your dentist will prescribe you medicine for pain before you leave the clinic.
Make an appointment with LI Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry in Suffolk County. If you require a procedure, such as a root canal or dental implant, we will give you a thorough consultation beforehand. Based on the information you provide us, we will determine whether dental sedation in any form is necessary. Our goal is to help you relax and remain comfortable both during the procedure and in the days leading up to it.
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