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What should I expect after my dental sedation appointment?

Are you going to be sedated for a dental procedure shortly? Following your visit, you may be unsure what to do next. Our dentists at Cambie Village Dental offer advice on what to remember and how you might feel.

What is oral conscious sedation?

The primary goal of oral conscious sedation is to relieve pain and discomfort while also making you feel at ease during your dental procedure. This sedation technique is used for a variety of procedures, including teeth cleanings, root canals, and endoscopes. This medication may benefit patients who have a strong gag reflex, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems, fear of pain, or high sensitivity to touch.

Your dentist will prescribe the right amount of this mild to moderate sedation, as well as pre-and post-sedation instructions. An hour before your dental appointment, you must take an oral liquid or pill. You may need to take a dose the night before the procedure to alleviate anxiety-related insomnia.

You will be in a relaxed state of consciousness during treatment. Having said that, you'll remain alert and responsive, and you shouldn't experience any pain.

What is IV sedation?

IV sedation refers to several medications that can be directly administered into the bloodstream through the vein to offer the deepest level of sedation short of general anesthesia. 

Will I feel any side effects from sedation dentistry?

Due to drowsiness or grogginess caused by moderate sedation, you may fall asleep during your appointment. Your dental team, on the other hand, will be able to gently shake you awake. Sedation's effects vary depending on the person taking it, as they do with many medications. Following their appointment, most patients report only minor side effects. You may have noticed that you have:

Oral Conscious Sedation

  • Low blood pressure
  • Mild headache 
  • Sluggish reflexes
  • Drowsiness 
  • Amnesia (only for the period you are sedated) 
  • Dry mouth

IV Sedation

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Watery eyes

Both Oral Conscious Sedation & IV Sedation

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches

All of these symptoms should go away within 24 hours of taking an oral sedative. Remember that not all patients will experience side effects and that the severity will vary.

Are there potential complications with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation?

Oral conscious sedation is a relatively safe procedure that has few side effects. Our team will monitor your vital signs while you are sedated.

Your dentist will need to know about your medical history before prescribing an oral sedative, as certain health conditions may preclude you from using this option due to an increased risk of complications.

If you are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea, you and your dentist should discuss other options as these two health conditions can cause complications, making oral conscious sedation unsafe.

While all medical procedures involve some risk, using IV sedation under the supervision of a trained professional is relatively risk-free. Oversedation is the most serious risk, which will be managed by the dental team through careful monitoring. Patients are not left alone while sedated.

You should also confirm that your dentist is qualified to provide sedation. Our team at Cambie Village Dental safely administers both oral conscious sedation and IV sedation.

What can I expect during recovery?

Depending on the type and level of sedation administered by your dentist, you may require one to several hours to recover from the sedation. Your dental team will closely monitor you during this time to ensure that your vital signs stabilize as they return to normal.

Your dentist will inform you if you will require a ride to and from your appointment. We recommend that you take the day off, refrain from operating heavy machinery, and avoid physical activity while the sedative wears off. These side effects should subside after 24 hours.

Do you have any additional questions about dental sedation? Please contact Cambie Village Dental if you have any further inquiries.

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Looking for a dentist in Vancouver? We're always delighted to accept new patients into our dental family! Contact us to get started today.

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