Do you feel anxious about getting dental treatment? If you do, don’t worry. That’s normal. Dental clinics provide sedation dentistry services to help ease your anxiety. One of the services most clinics offer is conscious dental sedation. So the question many people as is, ‘what is conscious dental sedation like?’
You are likely asking this question because you don’t know anything about conscious dental sedation. So let’s take a look at conscious dental sedation, so you can make an informed decision before getting treatment.
What Is Conscious Dental Sedation Like?
Conscious dental sedation is a type of sedation dentistry given through medication. Usually, the patient takes medication the night before receiving treatment. Patients may also sometimes take the drug about 30 minutes to an hour before the scheduled appointment.
When you take a sedative, you feel drowsy, but it is usually not pain-free. That’s why dentists usually administer local anesthesia along with it. With conscious sedation, your dentist can perform any dental treatment without any worries from patients.
How Does Conscious Sedation Feel Like?
So you are curious to find out ‘what is conscious dental sedation like.’ Patients who have experienced conscious sedation say that you feel drowsy but still fully aware of your surroundings. Even though you don’t feel pain or worry, you know what is happening during treatment.
By combining sedation and anesthesia, your dentist can make you feel relaxed but still responsive to instructions. You can communicate with the dentist under conscious sedation, but likely have little recollection of what happened during the procedure.
According to most patients, being under conscious sedation felt like being in a conscious dream. While you were conscious during the treatment, you don’t remember much about it later. That may be the case, but you can rest assured you are in safe hands.
Combatting Dental Anxiety
If you feel extremely nervous or fearful of going to the dentist, it is recommended you get conscious dental sedation. Otherwise, you might not be able to take the dental treatment you need due to dental fear.
Besides helping with your dental anxiety or phobia, conscious sedation also helps patients with some physical and mental limitations. An example of this is people with ADHD or have the inability to control their movements.
If you match any of these cases, you should call the nearest specialty dental services to ask about sedation dentistry. They can answer your questions and provide you with general advice.
Drugs Used for Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Before sitting in the dentist’s chair, you should become familiar with the different medications used for conscious sedation dentistry. The four common drugs used include:
- Midazolam – It’s a derivative of benzodiazepines used in dental sedation to reduce anxiety. It can cause memory loss and may have a slight side effect on heart and lung functions. Sedation by midazolam can last from 60 to 120 minutes.
- Propofol – This drug takes effect within only 90 to 100 seconds and quickly clears out of the body. As such, it may be administered several times during treatment. It’s a safe choice for sedation as the patient can quickly recover from it.
- Ketamine – This medication is a derivative of phencyclidine. Dentists also use it as a sedative, which helps relieve pain and may also reduce memory. A dose of ketamine can last around 5 to 10 minutes based on the amount, making it suitable for short treatments.
- Dexmedetomidine – This is a potent sedative capable of placing a patient in the same sleep pattern as normal sleep. Under this drug, the patient is often still communicative. Dentists use low doses of this medication because it can affect heart rate and breathing.
Conscious Sedation Dentistry Can Make Your Experience Better
No single conscious sedation drug is superior, as each has pros and cons. If you want to know what is conscious dental sedation like, it is best to consult a specialist in a dental office. Call them to find out which sedation service can help relieve your dental anxiety.