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How long does sedation take to wear off?

For patients who are anxious or have difficulty undergoing oral surgery or other dental procedures, dental sedation is frequently recommended. Although sedation is generally safe and effective, many people wonder how long it takes for the effects of dental sedation to wear off.

Forms of Dental Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas, is one of the most popular forms of dental sedation. Nitrous oxide usually takes a few minutes to take effect but only continues to be effective when it is continuously inhaled.

It usually only takes a few minutes for the patient to recover to a reasonable level after the dental technician stops the gas flow. The patient may feel a little disoriented afterward, but they should quickly regain their pre-sedated mental abilities.

Oral Sedation

Patients who need dental sedation in the form of pills can take the medication the night before their appointment. You can also take the sedation a few hours before your dentist appointment. Patients become disoriented and drowsy as oral sedation takes effect. Gagging, pain responses, anxiety, and other symptoms can all be suppressed with oral sedation.

However, these dental sedation methods usually last anywhere from two to eight hours after the procedure. The type of drug you take will determine how long it will take for the sedation to wear off. Oral sedation may cause you to experience an amnesic effect. In fact, you may not remember ever visiting the dentist’s office.

Conscious Sedation

During certain dental procedures, conscious sedation can help reduce pain, discomfort, and anxiety. This type of sedation combines drugs and, in some cases, anesthesia to help patients relax. Conscious sedation in dentistry is ideal for people who get nervous and anxious during complex dental procedures. Cleanings, root canals, and fillings are examples of such procedures.

Medical professionals often refer to this form of dental sedation as analgesia and procedural sedation. In the past, people called it happy air, sleep dentistry, laughing gas, happy gas, and twilight sleep. 

How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?

Dental sedation is ideal for patients who have to go through lengthy procedures requiring them to sit still for several hours at a time. It is also often used for kids since they are often unable to sit still through long-lasting procedures.

You should avoid eating and drinking anything for at least six hours before sedation and during sedation. It is important for your stomach to be empty to prevent regurgitated food from causing an obstruction in the airways while you are under.

You will be kept in the cabinet for a while after the procedure to recover. After about half an hour, dental sedation usually starts to wear off. For a few hours afterward, you may feel lightheaded and drowsy. As a result, you should have someone to keep you company while also transporting you safely home.

For more information about dental sedation, contact Bay Street Dental Associates today.

Nervous about visiting the dentist? We can help.

Our dentists can take the stress out of your next appointment with a range of sleep and sedation dentistry options.

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