Brushing and flossing are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But so, too, is going to the dentist. Many people, however, avoid the dentist like the plague, not because they don’t feel like going, but because they have a genuine fear.
Skipping out on dental appointments can have a detrimental effect on your oral health, even with an impeccable brushing and flossing routine. If you fear the dentist, oral sedation may be able to help.
What is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation is often used if you have anxiety about stepping foot through the door of your dentist’s office. It can also be used in a few other instances, such as:
• Low pain tolerance.
• Bad gag reflex.
• You can’t sit still.
Oral sedation is a type of conscious sedation. It involves taking a pill by mouth, which will then make you drowsy. It will not, however, knock you completely out. You are still conscious for your cleaning, or other dental procedure, but you are relaxed.
There’s a good chance you may not remember parts of the procedure under the influence of the medication. But you are able to sit still and have your teeth cleaned, or undergo another type of dental procedure, without fear. Common types of oral sedation include lorazepam, diazepam and alprazolam.
How Does It Work?
Oral sedation is a simple process. Depending upon the medication you are given, you may take one initial dose before bed, the night before your appointment. In most cases, however, you will take your medication an hour before your scheduled procedure.
There are several factors that affect how quickly the medication works, but it generally starts working in about 30 minutes. For this reason, you should have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
The major benefit of oral sedation is that it allows you to have necessary dental work done, whether it’s a simple cleaning or a more involved procedure, helping to promote your oral health. Oral sedation also has a few other benefits as well:
• No special equipment is required.
• No needles.
• You are put in a very relaxed state, but still conscious.
• It is completely safe and easy.
If a fear of the dentist’s chair is keeping you away from regular visits, contact our office if oral sedation is right for you.