What Does Sleep Dentistry Feel Like?

what does sleep dentistry feel like
What you feel during dental sedation depends on the type of sedation in place (image from Freepik).

Although the result of all types of sedation is relaxation when you pick a sedation dentist Cambridge, the feelings you experience will differ depending on the type and dosage of sedative used. So, what does each type of sleep dentistry feel like?

  • Nitrous oxide

Laughing gas is the easiest way to sedate patients. The dentist will place a mask over your nose, and you will inhale the gas mixture. The specialist will monitor the process to ensure you receive the amount you need for the procedure.

Nitrous oxide will make you feel warm, comfortable, lightheaded, and even euphoric.  However, it is much less powerful than other types of dental sedation. Once the procedure is over, the effects quickly wear off, and people can leave the doctor’s office on their own. Some report feeling sleepy and forgetful, but it is not too intense.

  • Oral conscious sedation.

Oral conscious sedation is a pill. It keeps you awake and aware but profoundly calm and relaxed. The dosage varies depending on your specific needs, so the sensations you feel after ingesting it cannot be predetermined, although you may expect drowsiness and grogginess. You can still communicate with your dentist and be responsive during the procedure.

It takes approximately an hour for the medication to take effect, meaning that you take it at home, and someone has to drive you to the appointment to ensure everything goes smoothly.

  • Intravenous (IV) sedation.

As its name implies, IV sedation is administrated right into the bloodstream before the dental procedure. It brings the patient into a state of deep euphoria. While some can drift off to sleep, they can still breathe without assistance. Those who remain conscious are unaware of their environment or what is happening. The patient may also have an altered sense of time, feeling like their appointment only lasted a few minutes. They will not recall any details afterward.

An important question many people ask is “Am I a candidate for sleep dentistry?” and that is a critical question because there are a few factors that can disqualify you.

Are you awake during dental sedation?

The purpose of sedation is to help the patient feel calm and relaxed during treatment. Local anesthetics will be applied additionally to alleviate the pain. There are three levels of sedation: minimal, moderate, and deep. Usually, the patient is conscious and can understand and respond to the doctor’s instructions. However, depending on the sedation level, they may fall asleep during the procedure. Sedation should not be confused with general anesthesia, which inhibits breathing and reflexes. General anesthesia is a much riskier procedure done only in extreme cases, according to strict protocols. https://cambridgesmiles.ca/what-is-sleep-dentistry/

Will I feel any pain with dental sedation?

The purpose of dental sedation is to provide relief from anxiety and fear. But, when done correctly, the patient should not feel any pain. Powerful painkillers and local anesthetics are combined with sedatives to ensure the procedure is comfortable and painless.


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