When is oral sedation recommended?
Oral sedation can give oral surgery patients a more comfortable experience during their procedures. Patients who are particularly anxious can benefit from this service, as can patients who are facing lengthy, complex treatments.
Many oral surgery procedures require some form of sedation, in addition to a local anesthetic, and sedation dentistry offers an alternative to general anesthesia, which leaves the patient unconscious and requires artificial airway maintenance during the surgery.
Sedation dentistry helps patients to achieve a state of deep relaxation with anti-anxiety medications, usually benzodiazepines.
This approach is sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” but that’s a misnomer because the patient actually is awake during the entire procedure. However, in addition to relaxing the patient significantly, it also has an amnesic effect. That is, most patients will not have any memory of the treatment after the sedation wears off.
Additionally, the sedation allows the patient to tolerate longer treatment sessions, which can reduce the number of appointments needed for patients who need time-consuming interventions.
Although some patients may choose to have the anti-anxiety medications delivered intravenously, those medications can also be taken in pill form. Some patients feel more comfortable with the idea of oral sedation if they are uneasy about needles.
Prior to the scheduled procedure, your surgeon will give you instructions related to the chosen sedation. For example, patients who choose oral sedation will need to take the pill prior to arriving at the appointment so that the medication has enough time to achieve the desired effect.
Therefore, patients who select oral sedation will need to make arrangements to be escorted to the appointment. The sedative may not wear off completely by the end of the session, so these patients should also plan to have a responsible adult drive them home.
Oral sedation can be appropriate for a variety of oral surgery procedures. Contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today for more information or to schedule your professional consultation.