Sedation Dentistry

How Long Do The Effects of Oral Sedation Last?

Dental anxiety is common for many people, but nerves and jumpiness can make it difficult for the dentist to effectively perform a procedure. To make sure the patient is calm, the dentist may administer a minor sedative. Although sedation may be a nerve-wracking thought, it’s quite safe and is used for many patients. You may even opt for a sedative to qualm your own nerves.

Read on to learn more about oral sedation and how long you can expect it to last after your next dental treatment.

How Long Does Nitrous Oxide Last?

The most common form of sedation that dentists use is a gas called nitrous oxide. This is commonly referred to as laughing gas. It takes only a few minutes to take effect once the flow of gas has started, and the effects will continue until the gas flow stops. Patients will return to feeling like their usual selves within minutes.

How Long Does Oral Sedation Last?

Another form of sedation that dentists use is oral sedation. This is when the patient is administered a pill to keep them calm. Unlike nitrous oxide, the effects of these pills last much longer than just a few minutes. They can last from at least two to eight hours. The effects of this method of sedation depends on what type of pill that’s used.

The types of oral sedation include:

  • Valium
  • Sonata
  • Versed
  • Halcion
  • Ativan

It’s worth pointing out that the most potent sedative on this list is valium. It has the longest half-life period of any sedative and can remain in the body for up to 10 days. However, the effects of Valium and most oral sedatives typically only last between four to six hours.

Is Dental Sedation Always Necessary?

In some cases, dental sedation may not even be necessary, if the situation doesn’t call for it. Furthermore, if a dentist tells you that a sedative is required, you should first consult with your primary care physician to ensure that it is safe for you; some sedatives may interact with prescription medications you’re on, so be sure to inform your dentist of all medications you’re presently taking and for what reason before you undergo any procedure.

Looking for a Sedation Dentist Near You?

To learn more about dental procedures, types of sedation and how to reduce your anxiety before your next visit, call us today. Our knowledgeable staff are happy to field your questions and make you as comfortable as possible.

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