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How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?

September 29, 2022

Dental sedation is sometimes necessary to offer patients access to their most needed dental health services. Whether it’s for a long and difficult procedure and the patient needs to be kept comfortable, easing dental anxiety, or helping those with disabilities remain still in the dentist’s chair, sedation is often the key to restoring a person’s oral health.

If your dentist told you you may require sedation, you likely have a lot of questions about it, especially how long the effects will last.

This short blog post has the answer:

The Different Types of Dental Sedation

There are different types of dental sedation, and each will have different effects, as well as potency. So to understand how long sedation will last, you first need to understand each form of sedation:

  • Laughing gas - This is a mild to moderate sedative that involves inhaling nitrous oxide through a mask placed over your nose. Once the gas stops flowing, as you breathe in fresh air, the gas is expelled out of your system and its effects wear off. You can even drive yourself home since it will only take a few minutes for the laughing gas to completely leave your system. It takes much of the anxiety away and can be used for adults and kids. 
  • Oral conscious sedation - This involves meditations taken shortly before the procedure. It makes longer appointments feel like minutes and typically you don’t remember the procedure and anxiety is removed. The sedatives make you feel relaxed and calm, and will usually take around many hours to fully wear off. With oral conscious sedation, you will have to have a friend or family member drive you home;
  • IV sedation - For longer procedures where a constant flow of sedatives is necessary, the dentist might recommend IV sedation. Like with the medication, IV sedation will take around 1 day to fully leave your system;
  • General anesthesia - This is only used for very complex procedures and involves putting the patient to sleep. With general anesthesia, you will need to be kept overnight because its effects take a while to wear off.

When Will the Sedative’s Effects Pass?

As you can see, dental sedation comes in many forms, so the effects you may experience will depend on the type of sedative chosen.

Don’t worry, however. Your dentist will tell you before the procedure what type of sedation you will get, and provide you with all the information you need to prepare for it, such as having someone pick you up after your appointment or taking the day off work.

But in most cases, the effects of the sedation won’t last more than 1-2 days, and with nitrous oxide, you’ll be perfectly fine by the time you’re ready to leave the office.

Book a Consultation at Southington Dentistry

Southington Dentistry offers sedation options to help our patients feel calm and relaxed while getting their oral health taken care of.

Book a consultation with Dr. Neil Salesky online and stop by our practice for a visit. For more information about us, call (860) 628-5029.

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