For many people, the mere thought of visiting a dentist can cause a great deal of anxiety. Then, if a more complex form of care is needed, the level of apprehension can escalate even more. Thankfully, there is a way to make a dental visit more relaxing – with oral conscious sedation. However, this form of treatment isn’t for everyone. Continue reading to find out if it’s right for you.
Who’s the Right Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?
While nitrous oxide is the most commonly known form of sedation, there are some situations when a stronger form of sedation is needed. For more acute symptoms of anxiety, oral conscious sedation can be highly effective at calming nerves and providing a sense of relaxation.
If you’re prone to experience the following before or during a dental visit, you may want to consider oral conscious sedation:
- Rapid heart rate
- A fear of needles
- Excessive sweating
- Sensitive gag reflex
- Difficulty sitting still
- The need for complex and lengthier dental treatments
By taking a proactive approach to tackling your feelings of apprehension, you won’t have to miss out on the valuable dental care that you need.
How Oral Conscious Sedation Works
Typically, the medication Halcion (a member of the Valium drug family) is provided in pill form. In most cases, your dentist will recommend taking the pill an hour or two before arriving at the office for treatment.
It should be noted that oral conscious sedation causes drowsiness. Additionally, it can take several hours after your treatment concludes for the effects to wear off. Therefore, it’s best to have someone drive you to and from your dentist’s office. You’ll also want to abstain from any strenuous activities and operating any heavy machinery after your dental appointment.
Is Oral Conscious Sedation Safe?
While sedation dentistry is typically a safe way to feel relaxed and calm when visiting your dentist, you may have some concerns about its safety. For patients who are overweight or suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it may be best to talk to a doctor before taking oral conscious sedation.
It’s also important to work with a dentist who is highly trained and has years of experience administering this type of treatment. In addition to better ensuring your safety, it will go a long way toward calming any anxieties and apprehensions you may have about receiving dental care.
By getting the help you need to manage your dental fears, you can move forward with achieving the absolute best in oral health!
About the Author
Dr. David Earnest is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center. An avid learner, he has eagerly pursued advanced postgraduate knowledge throughout his career, which includes training in sedation dentistry. Dr. Earnest provides care in a comfortable and relaxed environment at Comal Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.