As you plan for your upcoming dental procedure, you’ll likely be interested in how you will feel once the visit is over. If you are planning to opt for sedation dentistry, you may need to reserve a little extra time for the recovery period. That’s because, in addition to some lingering numbness or a tired jaw, you may also feel a little drowsy or sleepy.

Your sedation dentist will help you to select the sedative method that will be safest and most effective for you. Your options may include oral medications, inhaled sedation, or IV sedation. Depending upon the type of sedation, the dosage that is recommended for you and also your personal metabolism rate, your recovery time could range from a few moments to several hours. During that time, most patients tend to feel relatively sleepy or groggy following the dental visit.

In light of these side effects, driving and operating machinery should be avoided until you feel completely alert. In fact, patients who expect to be sedated are generally asked to be accompanied by an adult who is willing to monitor their safety after the dental visit. Your companion will need to remain at the dental office throughout your treatment and should be prepared to drive you home as well.

Although the side effects of most sedative options can be expected to linger, there is an exception to the rule. Laughing gas (technically known as nitrous oxide) is quickly eliminated from your system when you begin breathing oxygenated air. Patients who are under the influence of laughing gas will generally feel normal again before they leave the dental office.

Sometimes, sedation is recommended when the dental procedure is expected to be lengthy or particularly extensive. The sedatives will help you to relax for an extended period of time. Under these circumstances, the length of the recovery period may be influenced by the extent of the procedure more so than the effects of the sedatives.

Learn more about planning your post-operative recovery by contacting the office of Dr. John M. Hucklebridge.