I have an appointment for an apicoectomy next Wednesday. Since I already had two failed root canals on the tooth, I have become anxious. I accepted the dentist’s offer of sedation, but I am afraid of that too. What side effects can I expect with dental sedation? – Thank you. Minou from Michigan
Thank you for your question. A dentist determines whether you are a candidate for sedation and which medication to use based on your medical history, procedure, and anxiety level. What can you expect?
Readers: See our October 2021 blog post for information on how root canal therapy and apicoectomy differ.
What Are the Side Effects of Dental Sedation?
The side effects of dental sedation depend on the sedation type. We will discuss nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.
Nitrous Oxide Side Effects
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is an odorless, colorless gas that wears off quickly after you stop inhaling it. After your procedure, your dentist will give you oxygen to reverse nitrous oxide’s effects. Side effects include:
- A tingling sensation
- A sense of well-being
You can minimize nausea risks by avoiding large meals before your appointment.
Oral Conscious Sedation Side Effects
Oral conscious sedation is medication in pill form. A dentist may prescribe Valium, Ativan, or Halcion for you to take before your dental appointment.
Side effects vary by medication but may include:
Intravenous (IV) sedation is more potent than nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation and quickly relaxes you.
Side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
Your dentist will explain which type of dental sedation will work best for you and your procedure. Follow the pre- and post-procedure instructions to maximize your comfort.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the surgical program of the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Florida.