Does your heart race at the thought of visiting a dentist? Maybe you need dental work? No matter the reason, you may be a candidate for oral conscious sedation. The prescribed sedative can help you sit back and relax while you’re in the dentist’s chair. Whether you have dental-related phobias or need a lengthy procedure, there are a few things you need to know about the benefits of oral conscious sedation.
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is a medication you take before your appointment to reduce fear and anxiety. The type used can range from minimal to moderate, depending on your needs. Contrary to common belief, you aren’t “put to sleep.” Instead, you’ll reach a deep level of relaxation and may feel drowsy. While you might doze off, you can be awakened easily by verbal and physical stimuli. The sedative may also cause fragmented memory loss, so you may not remember much of your procedure.
Many types of sedatives can be used for dental purposes, but the most common include:
Your dentist can use a local numbing agent along with sedation to block any pain signals. It can also take a few hours for the effects of the sedative to wear off. You’ll need a friend or loved one to drive you home from your appointment. Your dentist will recommend taking it easy for the next 24 hours.
Who is a Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?
Oral conscious sedation offers many benefits to enjoy your time in the dentist’s chair. You may be a candidate for sedation dentistry if:
- You have dental anxieties or fears.
- You have difficulty getting numb.
- You don’t like the sights, sounds, or smells of the office.
- You have a strong gag reflex.
- You have difficulty holding your jaw open.
- You can’t sit in one position for an extended period.
- You need multiple treatments.
- You require a lengthy procedure.
If you meet the requirements for sedation dentistry, it is a safe and effective solution. Your dentist will learn more about your medical history, including any prescribed or OTC medications. Certain health issues or medications can interact poorly with sedation without the correct precautions. If oral conscious sedation isn’t right for you, your dentist will review additional options, like nitrous oxide.
You may also experience short-term side effects, like drowsiness, headache, or dry mouth. Any side effects only last for a few hours, so you’ll be back to your regular routine in no time.
Your dental team will explain exactly what to expect and answer any questions. You’ll have the information you need to feel confident about the road ahead. You can keep your oral health a priority with sedation dentistry.
About Dr. John H. Upton
Dr. Upton earned his dental degree at Baylor College of Dentistry and has completed advanced training in many specialties, including sedation, biomimetic dentistry, and orthodontics. He is a proud member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through our website or call (623) 292-4373.