In some cases, patients may need to be sedated to receive dental care. Whether this is because the procedure itself is long and complex or the patient suffers from dental anxiety or certain disabilities, sedation dentistry in Covington can be essential in helping someone get a healthy and happy smile.
One of the most common questions people have about sedation is “is it safe?” immediately followed by “can I drive home afterward?”
Check out this short blog post to find out!
Driving Home After Sedation Dentistry: It Depends on the Sedation Used
Sedation dentistry is actually a bit of an umbrella term, as there are multiple types of sedation available. Depending on which one you need to receive, you may need to make some arrangements for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Here’s a short overview of the types of sedation available at the dentist:
- Laughing gas - Also known as nitrous oxide, this is a mild sedative that’s also commonly used for children. You will inhale the gas through a special mask, and once it enters your system, you’ll feel calm and relaxed. With laughing gas, most people have no problems driving home after their procedure since the gas doesn’t take long to fully exit your system. The dentist will switch from the gas to oxygen to help you flush out the nitrous oxide even faster.
- Oral conscious sedation - It involves taking some sedation medication before the procedure. While you will remain awake during your appointment, oral conscious sedation can take a while to fully disappear from your system, so you will likely feel a bit loopy right after, making you unable to drive home.
- IV sedation - Like oral conscious sedation, IV sedation involves administering sedatives. Only in this case you will receive a constant stream of them through the IV while in the dentist’s chair. Some people become so relaxed due to the IV sedation that they can even fall asleep during the procedure, but some remain fully awake. In either case, with IV sedation, you will not be able to drive yourself home straight after.
- General anesthesia - It’s relatively uncommon to use general anesthesia for dental procedures, apart from long and complicated surgeries where the patient needs to be asleep throughout it. General anesthesia can take a long time to exit your system, and in most cases, you will be kept under supervision for a bit before you’re cleared to go home.
Sedation Is Nothing to Worry About
Sedation dentistry is perfectly safe when administered by trained professionals in a controlled setting. The Covington dentists at Cornerstone Dentistry offers several sedation options to help our patients feel calm and relaxed while we work on improving their smiles.
Book a consultation with Dr. Keleigh Lascari online to get started.