What to Expect When You Receive Oral Sedation

What to Expect When You Receive Oral Sedation

Jan 01, 2021

Some people, especially children, might have dental phobia. Sometimes the patient will instead prefer the agony of a toothache than visit a dentist for treatments. However, your dentist might help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during the dental procedure by administering sedatives.

There are several types of sedation techniques that your dentist might recommend, depending on your condition and the dental procedures’ length. Some of the techniques dentist use in sedation dentistry include:

  • Nitrous iv oxide
  • Oral sedation
  • IV sedation
  • General anesthesia

For most of the dental procedures, your dentist might recommend oral sedation. When you choose oral sedation, your dentist will give you a pill to swallow a few hours before the dental procedure. Taking the sedation pill some hours preceding the dental procedure provides the sedative with time to take effect.

When Do I Need Oral Sedation?

Your dentist will recommend sedatives if you have anxiety. Due to anxiety or phobia, the patient might do the following:

  • Avoid dental appointment at all
  • Visit the dental clinic but agree to undergo limited procedures, especially the non-invasive ones
  • Will tolerate toothache even when they need dental care, causing further complications

Some patients don’t necessarily fear getting dental treatments, but needles when getting anesthetics. Others might not respond well to the local anesthesia that the dentist offers for short dental procedures. Therefore, to reduce gag reflexes and make the patient feel more comfortable in the dental care, the dentist recommends oral sedation.

Some of the oral sedatives that your dentist might recommend to make you feel relaxed in the dental chair include:

  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Halcion
  • Midazolam(versed)

However, most dentists recommend Halcion pills for oral sedation.

How Oral Sedation Makes You Feel

Oral sedation aims to provide moderate and controlled pain relief. Therefore, the patient will feel lightly sedated but will be awake and responsive during the dental procedure. Thus, using oral sedatives helps people who are not well responsive to nitrous iv oxide and fear needles.

Your dentist will recommend you swallow the sedation pill an hour before the dental visit. You might need someone to drive you to and from the dental clinic since you might be feeling drowsy.

By the time you arrive at the dentist’s office, you will be feeling relaxed and comfortable. Since some of the dental procedures are invasive, your dentist might recommend additional local anesthesia to numb the site of treatment.

Most local anesthetics are intravenous. Therefore, your dentist will use a needle near the site of treatment. However, you are not likely to feel a sting since the sedatives will be working.

You will be conscious throughout the procedure but will not feel pain or discomfort.

By choosing oral sedation for dental procedures, you get to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Easy administration. Oral sedation is the easiest among all sedation dentistry techniques since you only have to swallow a pill an hour before the dental procedure.
  • Non-invasive. When you are getting oral sedatives, your dentist only gives you a pill to swallow. Therefore, if you fear needles, you will not have any trouble receiving the sedation.
  • Amnesia. The oral sedatives cause the patient to have no or little memory of what happens during the dental procedure. Therefore, if a patient has dental anxiety, the sedatives will come in handy since they won’t recollect what occurs in the dental procedure.
  • Responsiveness. During the dental procedure, you will be comfortable and feel relaxed, but will still be conscious.
  • Safety. The oral sedatives your dentist might recommend are board-approved. Thus, you are less likely to experience any side effects.

When Is Oral Sedation Not Safe for Me?

Oral sedatives are safe to use and effective. However, you might not be fit for oral sedation due to some factors. If there is a need for rapid onset of action, oral sedation might not be the right sedation technique since it takes time before taking effect.

If you have a chronic health condition and have been taking drugs for a long time, your dentist might not recommend oral sedation. Therefore, it is advisable that you be open about your medical history to prevent complications. Other factors that make you not eligible for oral sedation include:

  • Allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma

To know if you are eligible for oral sedation, you can consult our dentist at Chaparral Valley Dental.

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