What is oral sedation?
The idea of relaxation and dentists doesn’t often go hand in hand for many people. In fact, fear of the dentist is one of the main reasons why people avoid their bi-annual dental cleanings each year. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist often leads to more problems down the line and a need for more invasive and complicated dental procedures.
Sedation dentistry offers relief to people who feel intense anxiety when they go to the dentist or are faced with the idea of going to the dentist. This dentistry uses medications to help people go to sleep or fall under essentially an intoxicated state, so that they don’t remember their visit and do not experience the fear and anxiety they would normally experience.
What levels of sedation are there?
There are several levels of sedation that dentists might prescribe. What you’re given will depend on how great your anxiety. Inhaled minimal sedation, also known as laughing gas, is a sedation method that essentially takes the edge off of the process. One laughing gas is turned off you can usually drive home within ten minutes.
Moderate sedation leads to a person having slurred words and not remember much of the procedure, while deep sedation has someone on the edge of consciousness, but able to be shaken awake. General anesthesia is where a person is totally asleep.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedation is a form of sedation that can result in minimal to moderate sedation. To achieve minimal sedation the doctor will prescribe a pill that is similar to valium. This pill is to be take about an hour before the procedure. It is designed to make you tired, however, you’ll still be awake for the procedure. Larger doses can be prescribed to increase the level of sedation.
When a person takes oral sedation they can actually fall asleep and be awakened by being shaken.
Am I a candidate for oral sedation?
Oral sedation is a great option for people who experience high anxiety when they are going to the dentist. It is also appropriate for people with a low pain threshold, have sensitive teeth, experience a terrible gag reflex, need an extensive amount of oral work done.
What should I do if I believe I need oral sedation?
If you believe you would be a candidate for oral sedation, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss the options available to you. Dr. Lewis has extensive experience administering oral sedation to patients who have a fear of the dentist or a general need for the sedation.