Dental anxiety presents a significant barrier to necessary dental treatment for millions of Americans who have a fear or phobia of going to the dentist. Dental sedation is the use of medication to induce patients into a state of relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety.
It also carries other benefits such as reducing restlessness, suppressing the gag reflex, reducing pain sensation, and increasing mobility of the mouth. When a patient feels comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair, they are more likely to seek dental treatment which can help reduce dental avoidance.
Sedation is also a useful tool that enables dentists to get more work done in fewer appointments by increasing patient cooperation. Contact us at Elite Dental Wellness today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Batiste.
Before we can give you the option of selecting a type of dental sedation, we will need to review your medical history. While dental sedation is incredibly safe when administered by a trained dental professional, not everyone is a good candidate.
Patients with certain medical conditions, who take certain medications, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may not be suitable for sedation. If we’ve determined that you’re in good overall health and would make a good candidate for sedation, we will discuss your reasons for wanting sedation so that we can discuss your options.
Those with minor dental anxiety and children are great candidates for nitrous oxide. However, those with severe anxiety or special needs may want something more intense, like oral conscious sedation. We will inform you on how to prepare for sedation depending on the type that you select, and discuss your aftercare protocols.
With orthodontic care, it is important to take dental impressions and x-rays to efficiently determine what type of treatment you will need. After placing the braces or starting your aligners, follow up appointments and maintenance are the most essential part of orthodontic care. We will go over a treatment plan with you and schedule any appointments so you can remain diligent about keeping a healthy smile.
Nitrous oxide is a type of conscious sedation that is administered through a nasal mask. After placing the gas mask over your nose, you will inhale a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The quick onset of this sedative will cause you to feel the effects of euphoria, relaxation, and giddiness within just a few minutes.
This is the modest and safest sedative available in dentistry which makes it a great option for children. To prepare for this sedative, you will just need to fast for 2 hours before your appointment.
We recommend eating a light meal like some toast and drinking some water about 2 hours before your appointment. You remain aware of your surroundings while sedated and can respond to questions from the dentist. However, you may not remember the appointment afterward.
This is a deeper form of sedation, but since you remain conscious, you are still aware of your surroundings and can respond to instructions. However, you are likely to feel very sleepy and relaxed and may even fall asleep.
It will be easy to wake you up, however. Oral conscious sedation is given in the form of an anti-anxiety pill that makes you feel sluggish and drowsy.
Since it takes about an hour to kick in, you will need to take it an hour before your appointment and arrange for someone to take you to your dental appointment. To prepare for oral conscious sedation, you need to fast for 6 hours before your appointment.
Yes, dental sedation is incredibly safe when administered by a trained professional in the dental setting. However, you are always incurring some set of risks when taking any medication.
This is why our Houston dentist takes precautions by reviewing your medical history before approving you for sedation. If you are at all concerned, we can recommend that you try nitrous oxide, which is very mild and low risk in healthy patients.
Nitrous oxide leaves the body within just a couple of minutes of removing the nasal mask. This is why you will be able to resume normal activities immediately following your appointment, including driving.
The lingering effects of oral conscious sedation, however, last for 24 hours, so you will need someone to drive you home and watch over you for the rest of the day. You won’t be able to drive, drink alcohol, or sign legal documents for the next 24 hours.