Millions of people feel some level of nervousness or anxiety when they visit the dentist. Is that true of you? We understand such feelings, and we empathize. That is why we offer sedation dentistry. Oral sedation can help you feel calm and relaxed, even if you require a major procedure. Keep reading to learn more about how this technique may help you breeze through your next dental appointment. Then, when you are ready to find out if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry, contact the friendly and knowledgeable team at Abington Family Dental Care.
Oral sedation is a form of sedation that requires you to take a pill shortly before your appointment. The prescription medication will affect your brain in a way that diminishes your fear and anxiety response and produces a calm, relaxed feeling. Oral sedation is safe for most patients.
With oral sedation, you may take the pill about an hour before your appointment. By the time we begin working on your mouth, you should feel quite calm. You will not lose consciousness; you will remain alert enough to respond to any questions or instructions that we direct at you. It is possible that you will drift off to sleep. If that happens, it should be easy for us to awaken you with a gentle shake.
The effects of oral sedation may linger for several hours after your appointment. Hence, it is necessary that you have someone available to drive you home from our office. If you experience any side effects, these will probably be mild and should wear off fairly quickly. The side effects might include things like dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches.
Benefits of oral sedation include:
In most cases, oral sedation is not covered by dental insurance because it is not considered a necessary part of treatment. We will be sure to let you know the cost of your sedation before you commit to it, and we can help you apply for low- or no-interest financing to help you fit your procedure into your budget. You can use the financing to cover your sedation as well.
After reading the above information, you may be ready to ask your dentist if you can be sedated during your next procedure. Or, you might still have questions. If the latter is true, read the below FAQs that we have compiled. If you do not find the information you were hoping for, you are always welcome to contact us so we can personally address your concerns about oral sedation.
While oral sedation is safe for most patients, there are some individuals who may want to investigate other means for relaxing in the dental chair. For example, if you have previously had a bad reaction to the medication used for oral sedation, it is important that you let us know so we can look for alternative ways to make you comfortable. You should also be thorough when you are giving us your medical history so we can look for anything that might affect your candidacy for oral sedation.
It usually takes 30 – 60 minutes for oral sedation to kick in. How fast it works for you will depend on things like your body weight and how you metabolize various substances. We will be sure not to start performing any work until we are confident that the medication has made you as relaxed as possible.
Other types of sedation, including nitrous oxide, take place solely at the dentist’s office. However, oral sedation is a little different. You will take the pill about an hour before your appointment — likely while you are still at home. That is why you should have a friend or family member available to drive you to your appointment; you do not want to start to feel drowsy while you are in control of a vehicle.
It is possible for us to perform almost any procedure while a patient is sedated, whether the treatment is restorative or cosmetic in nature. You might choose to request oral sedation if you are going to undergo:
You can even ask for sedation if your treatment is not one that is generally considered to be extensive. For example, if you have extreme dental anxiety or other circumstances that make dental treatment challenging for you, there is no shame in being sedated for something like a simple filling or dental bonding. We would like you to be comfortable and relaxed at every appointment.
Some effects of the sedation medication may linger for 12 – 24 hours after you first take the pill. In the meantime, you may be drowsy and find it difficult to concentrate. Your reflexes may also be slowed. That is why you should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or work until the medication wears off entirely.