If you’re wary of going to the dentist’s office, you’re not alone. For one reason or another, millions of patients have a fear of a trip to the dentist. Often, patients fear that they’ll feel pain as a procedure is completed. Others are afraid of being “put under” as they undergo dental surgery. That’s totally normal! And fortunately, we have a solution to help mitigate some of these fears. We can use a sedative to relax you and to block any pain that you may otherwise feel during a procedure, so your experience can be as comfortable as possible.

Here at Love to Smile, we offer conscious sedation dentistry services for a variety of procedures. While we’re making the most of your smile, we’ll use a mild sedative to minimize any aches that you may feel — all the while, you’ll remain conscious or you may fall into a light sleep. If you’re about to have a dental procedure performed, ask us about conscious sedation dentistry. We may be able to provide controlled sedation throughout your procedure, so that you have nothing to fear. Feel free to reach out to us to learn more or to schedule an appointment — we want you to be as comfortable as possible with your visit here at Love to Smile! You can also continue reading to learn more about conscious sedation and the dental procedures that we provide. We provide conscious sedation dentistry procedures out of our offices here in Overland Park, Lenexa, and Peculiar.

About Conscious Sedation Dentistry

Conscious sedation is an option for those who are uncomfortable with certain dental procedures, and those who are going through longer procedures or multiple procedures at once. During a conscious sedation dental procedure, we’ll use either an oral, gas, or IV sedative in order to mitigate any pain you may feel while also putting you into a mildly sedated state. MedLine, a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), defines conscious sedation in their article Conscious Sedation for Surgical Procedures:

“Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. You will probably stay awake but may not be able to speak. Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities soon after your procedure.”

If you’re fearful about an upcoming dental procedure, or you’d simply like to avoid some of the pain that would otherwise be experienced with a procedure, then conscious sedation dentistry may be an option. If you have any questions about this option, feel free to give us a call to learn more. You can also continue reading to find answers to some of the frequently asked questions that we encounter surrounding our conscious sedation dentistry procedures.

Conscious Sedation FAQ

When is conscious sedation an option?

Conscious sedation may be considered at the discretion of your dentist. This may be a helpful option for those who are highly sensitive to pain, those who are fearful of a procedure, or for those who are undergoing long, complex procedures or multiple procedures at once. Conscious sedation is often used for tooth removals, root canals, and other procedures. If you’re curious about an upcoming procedure and whether or not conscious sedation may be an option for you, simply reach out to us for further information.

Am I a viable candidate for conscious sedation procedures?

Conscious sedation isn’t suitable for everyone. For those who suffer from sleep apnea and those who are obese, conscious sedation may cause complications, so your dentist may not recommend a sedative. In addition, if you’re taking certain types of medication, you may not be a viable candidate for conscious sedation. Young children may also not be candidates for this procedure. If you’re wondering whether or not you can undergo conscious sedation during your upcoming dental procedure, please give us a call to find out more information.

Is conscious sedation different from deep sedation or anesthesia?

Yes. Conscious sedation involves less sedatives than deep sedation or general anesthesia. Instead of losing consciousness, a patient is only mildly sedated during conscious sedation. He or she may be aware of their surroundings, and they may fall into a light sleep. Those who undergo conscious sedation should be able to be woken fairly easily if they do doze off.

Can I drive after a procedure with conscious sedation?

No. You’ll have to have someone else drive after a procedure.

Will I need someone to pick me up?

Yes. You should plan ahead to have a trusted, responsible adult waiting to pick you up from the dental office after your conscious sedation procedure. Guests are welcome to wait here at the office until you’re ready to be released.

What else should I avoid after a conscious sedation procedure?

You should not drive, consume alcohol, or make any legal decisions for 24 hours after conscious sedation is completed. It is also recommended that you don’t use tobacco products until the next day. It’s also recommended that you don’t care for children immediately after a conscious sedation procedure. You can find more recommendations and guidelines from MedLine in their article Conscious Sedation for Surgical Procedures.

Are there any side effects to conscious sedation?

Patients may experience a variety of side effects after undergoing conscious sedation, including all of the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Feeling heavy
  • Amnesia (or loss of memory of the procedure)
  • Slower reflexes
  • Headaches
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Nausea

Side effects may vary from person to person.

Will my dental insurance cover conscious sedation procedures?

Insurance coverages vary from plan to plan. However, more and more insurers are opting to cover conscious sedation procedures, thanks to the benefits it may provide to patients. Reach out to your dental insurance provider to learn if you have coverage for conscious sedation expenses.

How will I feel during conscious sedation?

The sedative of conscious sedation should help you to feel relaxed. In addition, the anesthetic component of conscious sedation should block any pain that you would otherwise feel. So, throughout a procedure, you should feel relaxed and shouldn’t feel much, if any, pain.

How will I feel after conscious sedation?

Those who undergo conscious sedation slowly return to normal within a few hours. Patients may be drowsy at first, and they may have some memory loss of the procedure. As the sedative wears off, patients tend to feel more awake and responsive.

How soon can I leave after a conscious sedation procedure?

We will monitor conscious sedation patients until they are ready to leave the office. We want to ensure that patients’ vital signs return to normal before they leave, so that they aren’t at risk of a health complication. We’ll also make sure that you are conscious and aware of your surroundings before you leave. Release times vary from patient to patient.

Who will be administering the conscious sedation?

The sedatives used in conscious sedation can only be administered by a trained and certified individual. Your dentist or a trained dental assistant will administer the sedative and monitor you throughout your procedure.

Count on Love to Smile for Comfortable Care

For comfortable care, you can count on your dentist here at Love to Smile. We aim to make dental care easy for our patients, and we strive to ensure that they don’t experience pain during our procedures. If you need a procedure performed, yet you’re worried about the pain it may cause, conscious sedation may be an option. Feel free to give us a call to learn more and to schedule an appointment! Again, we have dental offices in Overland Park, Lenexa, and Peculiar, and we would be happy to let you know if conscious sedation is a viable option for your upcoming procedure.