Patient receiving cleaning

Oral sedation dentistry: What does it feel like and when do you need it?

Does the thought of going to the dentist give you anxiety?

Are you so anxious that it has been ages since your last cleaning and now you feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of making the appointment for dental services? Know that going to the dentist is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for your overall health and general well-being.

Modern dentistry has advanced so much that it is not even close to what you once feared as a child or young adult. In fact, it may surprise you that Novocain is no longer even used. It has been replaced by better anesthetics that are more effective. Improved anesthetics is not the only area of improvement concerning patient comfort. Sedation medication is now commonly available to relieve the stress some patients face while in the dentist’s chair.  

Minimal to Moderate in Strength

Oral sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during a dental procedure and can range from minimal to moderate in strength. In both cases, you simply take a pill about an hour before the procedure. It typically causes drowsiness, although you will remain awake.

A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation, depending on your circumstances. With this in place, some people fall asleep during the procedure. The dentist will additionally administer a local anesthetic to relieve any physical discomfort. Oral sedation is, by design, more unpredictable than IV sedation, which delivers predictable results and works well for 99% of patients.

Should I Consider Oral Sedation Dentistry?

This type of medication helps many patients with an overall fear of the dentist, general anxiety, anxiety due to a prior dental trauma, and belonephobia (fear of needles and sharp instruments).

A variety of dosage protocols are available where patients can begin medication as early as the day before treatment, if needed. This early dose helps reduce any anxiety leading up to your appointment and can de-sensitize the sights and smells of the dental office that may trigger any responses. The sedative also allows more complex dental work to be completed in fewer appointments as the patient can sit longer for the procedure. Additionally, oral sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:

  • Have very sensitive teeth
  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Have trouble sitting still in a dentist’s chair
  • Have a bad gag reflex
  • Have a large amount of dental work completed

What are the Advantages of this Procedure?

Oral sedation is one of the available methods. Other options include inhalation sedation (e.g., nitrous oxide), and conscious intravenous sedation. The big advantages of the aforementioned over other methods are:

  • Ease — simply take a pill
  • Effectiveness
  • Minimal amount of potential side effects
  • No needles involved
  • Lower cost vs intravenous sedation

Is it Safe?

Yes. Evers Dental will carefully evaluate your medical history when choosing the appropriate medication. Matching factors, such as how the drug is metabolized, and any underlying medical conditions will be reviewed. Proper review requires a thorough evaluation of your medical history and a thorough knowledge of the drug’s characteristics. All risk factors and procedural complexities will be considered when deciding the best drug choice.

Say Goodbye to Dental Anxiety

Avoiding regular dental care out of fear and worry can lead to more serious, time-consuming, and costly treatments in the future. No matter if you need a general checkup with cleaning, or a more complex dental procedure, our team is here to ensure you have an enjoyable experience each time you visit.

Contact us to find out how we can help you maintain a healthy smile while saying goodbye to dental anxiety.

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