Is oral sedation effective at calming dental fears?
Many patients are fearful about dental procedures, and such anxiety can be amplified at the prospect of oral surgery. Fortunately, oral sedation can be an effective solution for calming your dental fears and helping you get the treatment that you need.
Oral sedation involves taking an anti-anxiety medication prior to your surgery. This medication will help you to relax deeply during the procedure. Patients remain conscious, although they often feel like they are in a sleep-like state. Because they remain conscious, oral sedation is considered to be safer than other choices, such as general anesthesia. Patients can continue to respond to commands from the oral surgeon, and their airways are not compromised.
Patients who choose oral sedation also benefit from the amnestic effects of the medications. That is, patients will have no recollection of the procedure while under sedation. This also helps to avoid reinforcing dental fear with a negative experience.
At your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will discuss your oral sedation options with you. Some preparation is needed. Your oral surgeon will give you a prescription for the sedative medication, which you will need to have filled before your appointment. You will also be instructed to take the medication a certain amount of time before your appointment. This will give the medication enough time to take effect. However, it also means that you will not be able to drive safely to the appointment. Therefore, you must arrange for a responsible adult to bring you to the office.
The effects of the sedation also may not be completely reversed by the time you leave the office after your procedure. Someone will need to drive you home after the surgery and remain with you until the medication has worn off completely.
Don’t let dental fears stand in the way of oral surgery that could improve your oral health. Ask our team about oral sedation and whether it can be used in your case.