What are the types of sedation?

What are the types of sedation?

Jan 21, 2023

The anticipation of your upcoming dental appointment may fill you with anxiety and nervousness. Understanding the treatment process and the sedation used can help you feel at ease and comfortable about the dental treatment. Dental sedation is a technique that is used in dentistry before and during dental treatment. Sedation dentistry in Bryn Mawr is used to help patients relax, manage their feelings of anxiety, and avoid pain. The effects of the type of sedation used will range from experiencing mild unconsciousness to complete sleep during the surgery. Choosing the most suitable sedation for you will give you confidence even during the most complex oral surgery. At The Dental Spa- Mainline, we have a team of experts who will show a hand when doing this.

What type of sedation is used for oral surgery?

Oral surgery is a common method of treatment that is relied upon to treat various dental and cosmetic concerns. For example, it is used to restore or treat decayed or damaged teeth. Here are the types of sedation used during oral surgery.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is used on patients undergoing a longer and more invasive procedure, such as wisdom tooth extraction. It is administered by a certified oral surgeon or an anesthesiologist. For this sedation, an IV line is injected into your arm to ensure a continuous flow of the medication. The IV sedation is strong, and the dentist must monitor your vitals. You can remain conscious but with little awareness of your surroundings through sedation.

Local Anesthesia

This numbing medication is temporarily used to prevent nerve fibers from transmitting pain signals to the brain. It is either injected directly into the gums or applied topically. After administration, your will experience numbness in your gums, cheeks, and lips. Local anesthesia is used on mild oral surgeries and procedures such as fillings. The anesthesia will wear off after a few hours and doesn’t affect your level of consciousness. The dentist may combine local anesthesia with a dental sedative for a more complex procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia provides patients with a more profound sedation experience. It is an option if you require significant oral surgery or cannot undertake the other forms of sedation. General anesthesia effects are almost experienced immediately. The sedation is administered through an IV line at the back of your hand or arm. While under general anesthesia, you will be unconscious throughout the surgery. Its effects will linger a few hours after the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Our dentist in Bryn Mawr will prescribe you anti-anxiety pills for sedation. The prescription and dosage may vary depending on your health specifications. Oral sedation is to be taken hours before the procedure. The sedation works by relaxing your central nervous system, and you may feel dizzy or sleepy. Oral sedation can relieve intense anxiety and fear in patients. You should have a driver or friend on standby to drive you to and from the dental office if you take this form of sedation.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is conscious dental sedation administered over the patient’s nose. the dentist will place a mask on the nose and instruct you to take deeper and more frequent breaths. It is usually used for short and minor procedures. The effects of nitrous oxide are mild and set in quickly. Its effects will wear off minutes after the procedure.

How long does dental sedation last?

Most patients can return to their daily activities within 24 hours after the sedated dental procedure. However, our reactions to certain dental sedatives are different. For instance, younger and healthier people can metabolize the sedatives efficiently, resulting in a shorter sedation duration. How long the sedation will last in your body is also determined by the type of sedation.

Oral sedatives will last for at least two to eight hours, while the nitrous oxide sedation effects will run out as soon as the gas stops flowing into your system. For IV sedation and general anesthesia, their effects will last for several hours. And because of this, you will be required to arrange transportation back home.


If you are looking for sedation dentistry near you, contact our dental offices in Mawr to learn more about sedation. Our team of experts will be happy to answer your question while making you feel at ease.

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