There are different types of sedation dentistry … with oral surgery such as having third molars extracted, sleep sedation is often employed (this is also referred to as IV sedation). But for patients suffering from anxiety, the inability to recline for extended periods, or any mental/physical disability, oral sedation may be the ideal solution.
With oral sedation, the patient takes a sedative at home about one hour before their appointment. Upon arrival at the dental office and being seated in the treatment room, an additional sedative is administered. The patient goes from a moderately relaxed state to totally relaxed. In many instances, the patient feels like they slept through treatment; however, they do remain conscious.
Depending on what procedures are planned, an additional anesthetic (a numbing agent) may be administered. Anxious patients may opt for oral sedation for standard cleaning appointments; if decay is detected, cavities can be treated. For more serious problems like a fractured tooth, the tooth can be prepared for crown. Anything that can be treated during this appointment is completed, if possible.
As with any type of sedative, the patient will feel groggy for a few hours. Transportation to and from the dental office is required. Since the patient has remained conscious, they can leave as soon as they feel alert enough to do so. Upon arriving at home, it is advisable to have someone remain with the patient for a few hours … returning to work or school is discouraged.
Oral sedation dentistry is a great option for everyone involved. The patient can receive much needed dental treatment; the dentist can render care without worrying about the anxiety level of the patient; and everyone is relieved that the safety and comfort of the patient is being addressed.
Your dentist is required to receive additional education before being able to offer oral sedation. The dental office is equipped and the staff are trained to provide an environment that meets the requirements that govern oral sedation administration.
Of course, daily oral maintenance will help keep teeth healthy between dental visits … brush twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste; and floss every day to remove food debris not reached during brushing.
To learn more about sedation dentistry or to schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340.