Oral sedation in dentistry can be a tremendous help for dental-phobic people to maintain good dental health. Did you know that up to 20% of patients are dental phobic? And at least 50% of us have qualms about dental visits? If you’re one of them, have a family member who is fearful, or know of someone who continually avoids “going to the dentist,” oral sedation may be an option.
In one study, 90% of patients who experienced fearfulness about dentistry felt more comfortable with sedation. As a dentist in Tigard who always welcomes new patients and who is passionate about helping our current patients-of-record, we look forward to making your visit to Total Health Dental relaxing and comfortable.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedation is a medication that reduces mild to moderate levels of anxiety and fear of dental care – ideal for adult patients who are dental phobic or whose anxiety level rises to uncomfortable levels at just the thought of “going to the dentist.” Oral sedation is usually administered in pill form, and it is available only with a prescription from us. The medication reduces and even eliminates anxiety and fear of dental visits.
How does oral sedation make one feel?
It will effectively relax you. You won’t be unconscious, so with ease, you can communicate effectively and easily follow instructions during your appointment. This is why oral sedation is often called “conscious sedation.” You will be able to understand what we are saying to you during your entire treatment. If you’re like many of our patients who find that, to their surprise and delight, they doze lightly in the dental chair, you’ll be very relaxed.
How long does oral sedation last?
We will ensure your medication level will cover your entire treatment, whether that is one hour and even up to four hours.
How is your medication chosen?
There are many different types of oral sedation medication. We will determine the type and level that is best for you. After thorough discussion, we will prescribe a sedative that will be most effective for your needs and wants. Factors that we consider together are:
- Your medical history – Different people react differently with oral sedation medications. A thorough review of your health and your current medications is crucial as we need to be able to predict any possible interactions and how the drug will be metabolized.
- The length of your treatment – Ahead of time, we will discuss your treatment plan, and we will give you a good idea of the duration of each treatment. With how well oral sedation removes anxiety and helps with relaxation, you may choose to have multiple treatments completed at once. Many of our patients prefer this – one appointment over multiple.
- The comfort level we need to achieve – We’ll talk about your level of anxiety or fear, your past experiences, and what we can provide based on what you need to make you feel comfortable.
Oral sedation benefits include…
- easily administered via pill (no needles)
- reduced anxiety & fear
- reduces memory of past dental treatments
- increased comfort
- increased sense of control over your fears
- greater ease undergoing long treatments
- reduced gag reflex
- multiple procedures completed in fewer visits
- safe & effective
- amnesic effect.
Before- and after-treatment care…
Before you receive your prescription from us for oral sedation, we will have a good discussion about your feelings about having dental treatment and about your overall health. If oral sedation is a good option for you, and if you choose to proceed with oral sedation, you will take the pill at home at a set time (usually about an hour before your appointment). You’ll begin to feel the effects even before you arrive at the practice. This is because we need the medication to be fully effective by the time we provide your care. The medication will last throughout your appointment, and the effects will not wear off before you leave our practice. Because of this, you must be aware – and we’ll remind you when we write your prescription –that it’s mandatory you arrange to have someone bring you to our practice and be there to take you home after your care is complete.
Oral sedation facts:
- aids in helping people with dental phobia achieve and maintain a regular dental care regimen that is so important to achieving and maintain dental and overall health
- no needles
- only one pill
- lower cost to IV sedation
- can range from minimal sedation to moderate sedation
- if you fall asleep, we will be able to awaken you easily
- can also be used for those with low pain threshold, have extremely sensitive teeth, and who have a bad gag reflex.
How do you know if you would benefit from oral sedation?
Dental sedation is an incredibly effective means of reducing the stress and anxiety you may feel about your upcoming dental appointments. If you’re apprehensive about dental visits, the first step is to call us, your dentist in Tigard at (503) 433-8256. We’ll help you relieve your apprehension or fear.
We look forward to working with you to eliminate this common barrier to better oral and overall health!