How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?

Dental Sedation

There are three primary types of dental sedation. The type of sedation used will determine how long the effects last.

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is administered through a nasal cannula. This type of dental sedation will begin to wear off as soon as the supply is stopped. For some patients, effects may wear off within three to five minutes, but it is recommended that you give yourself at least 45 minutes before engaging in most activities.

Some dental practices offer oral conscious sedation, also known simply as oral sedation, which is accomplished with sedatives and anti-anxiety medications taken prior to your procedure. Depending on the type of medication used, oral conscious sedation may last anywhere from two to eight hours and requires arrangements to be made for a ride to and from the dental office.

IV Sedation

Here at Wood Creek Dental, we have found remarkable success in treating dental phobia, anxiety, and discomfort through IV sedation. This type of sedation is administered and monitored by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in our office, ensuring your optimal safety and comfort throughout your appointment. Our IV sedation has helped reduce, and even eliminate, the debilitating fear of dental work that affects so many and prevents them from getting the dental care and treatment they need.

IV sedation is a game-changer for our patients with dental anxiety, but it is also very beneficial for those who have a sensitive gag reflex; a complex or lengthy treatment plan; or those who simply want to combine several treatments into one relaxing, stress-free appointment. IV sedation allows for greater control over the level of sedation needed, as it is easily adjusted throughout the procedure. It is also short-acting, with less of a lingering, groggy effect. Initially, this type of sedation may wear off within an hour of your procedure, but it is recommended to wait for 24 hours before driving or engaging in anything demanding. Arrangements will need to be made for a ride to and from our office if you will be receiving IV sedation. 

What’s Best for You?

Often, many of our patients find that simple things like our caring doctors and staff, our relaxing environment, head phones with your music choice, and/or nitrous oxide are enough to alleviate their anxiety and enable them to receive their treatment. For those patients who need or desire more intervention, IV sedation is the most effective alternative. If you want to explore the option of IV sedation for your dental needs, we offer a complimentary Sedation Consultation where we can discuss your dental concerns and help determine if IV sedation is right for you. Remember, research has shown a correlation between oral health and systematic health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is essential for long-term, overall health and well-being.

If it has been longer than six months since your last dental cleaning and exam, please call our Greenville office at 864-288-5300 to schedule your next visit, or to schedule a free Sedation Consultation today.            


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Greenville, SC

Landrum, SC

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