Dental anxiety affects approximately 36% of the population to varying degrees. Delaying dental treatment can lead to oral infections and even tooth loss.
However, with the help of oral sedation, even people with severe dental anxiety can relax during treatment.
At Supertooth’s offices in Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Bethesda, Maryland, we use oral sedation to improve the experiences of our patients. You can even request sedation for non-invasive treatments such as teeth cleaning. Here’s everything you need to know about oral sedation.
Oral sedation involves giving a patient a pill an hour before their dental procedure. Typically, dental specialists use benzodiazepines. In small doses, these medications reduce anxiety and calm nerves.
They also cause amnesia, meaning you’ll be awake but won’t be able to process information or remember what happened during your procedure. Slightly larger doses may put you to sleep, but a gentle shake is enough to awaken you.
Unlike other types of sedatives, oral sedatives can also be taken by patients with cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. However, a disadvantage of oral sedation is that everyone processes the pills differently, so some patients may have to wait longer than one hour for the sedative to kick in.
Our staff may also offer you sedation via a mask placed over your nose. With this type of sedation, you breathe laughing gas, a type of sedative that enables you to relax. Because the sedative wears down quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Intravenous sedation is sometimes used for long or painful dental procedures. While sedated in this manner, you won’t be aware of what’s happening around, you and you won’t remember the dental procedure. After IV sedation, you’ll need someone to drive, as you’ll feel drowsy.
You may be a good candidate if you aren’t pregnant, don’t suffer from bipolar disorder, and don’t have any respiratory diseases. Most people are good candidates for oral sedation, as it has few side effects and allows most patients to leave the dental office on their feet. However, you may need someone to drive you home after your appointment.
If you want to be more relaxed next time you visit the dentist, call one of our offices or schedule an appointment online. Our staff at Supertooth offers orthodontics, dental implants, emergency dentistry, general dentistry, family dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and holistic dentistry.