Using sedatives during dental procedures creates a more comfortable and efficient experience for both the patient and the dentist. Sedatives are often used for invasive procedures such as extractions. However, at Mill Dam Dental Care, we offer sedation for all procedures, including routine dental cleanings. This is particularly helpful for those who struggle with dental anxiety or physical sensitivities that can make dental visits challenging. There are a few different types of sedation available for dental procedures. One of the most common is oral conscious sedation. This is a moderate sedative that can help you feel more relaxed and more comfortable during the procedure without completely putting you to sleep. In this article, we’ll take a look at what oral conscious sedation is and how it can help make dental appointments more comfortable.
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
In our practice, oral conscious sedation refers to a sedative called Halcion. This sedative is administered orally in the form of either a tablet or a liquid before the procedure starts. This sedative makes patients feel very relaxed and groggy, although they will not be completely unconscious.
How Does it Compare?
There are a few different types of sedatives that dentists can offer their patients during their visit. It’s important for patients to understand the differences between these sedatives when preparing for their procedures.
Oral conscious sedation is more intensive than inhaled nitrous oxide, but is less intensive than IV sedation. With inhaled nitrous oxide, the patient is still completely awake, and with IV sedation, the patient is completely unconscious. Oral conscious sedation leaves the patient somewhere in the middle of these two sedatives.
Both oral conscious sedation and IV sedation take time to wear off after the procedure. This means that a trusted friend or family member needs to be on hand to make sure that the patient makes it home safely. However, oral conscious sedation wears off more quickly than IV sedation. Alternatively, inhaled nitrous oxide sedation completely leaves your system by the end of the appointment, so patients can drive themselves home.
Additionally, oral conscious sedation is more affordable than IV sedation. This makes it a good alternative when the patient has a limited budget, but still wants to feel deeply relaxed during the procedure.
When is it Used?
Oral conscious sedation can be used in a variety of different scenarios. If we expect that a procedure will be painful or uncomfortable for the patient, we may recommend oral conscious sedation in addition to a local anesthetic to make the appointment easier for everyone.
This type of sedation can also be very helpful for routine procedures. Many people struggle with anxiety at the dentist, and in some cases, this anxiety can even discourage patients from getting the care they need. When patients know they will be sedated, it can make the entire appointment feel less daunting so they can get the care that they need.
Additionally, oral conscious sedation can be very helpful for patients who struggle with a strong gag reflex, or those who have extremely sensitive gums or teeth. We also can use this type of sedation for those who have physical or mental disabilities that make it difficult to sit in a dentist’s chair for long periods of time.
In these situations, we find that oral conscious sedation not only helps with patient comfort, but it also helps us work more efficiently. When the patient is totally relaxed, we can access their mouth more easily. This lack of resistance allows us to work more quickly and provide the best possible care for the patient.
What Can I Expect?
Before your appointment you will have a consultation, so you know exactly what to expect. Make sure to follow all of the instructions you are given to ensure you have a safe and healthy procedure. We will likely tell you not to eat for several hours before your procedure. Additionally, we will review any medications you are currently taking to ensure they are safe to use during sedation. If you are taking any medications that could interact with the sedative, we may instruct you not to take them during this time period.
You will be given your sedative approximately 30 minutes before your procedure begins. During this time you will start to feel very relaxed and even sleepy. While you may fall asleep during your appointment, you will not be entirely unconscious. We will still be able to wake you and you will be able to communicate with us if necessary.
After the procedure is over, you may remain groggy for a while, although this will wear off over the next few hours. You may not remember all of the procedures clearly. You will need someone to drive you home and keep an eye on you until the sedative wears off, and we recommend taking an entire day off of work or school to recover.
Oral Conscious Sedation at Mill Dam Dental Care
Mill Dam Dental Care specializes in sedation dentistry for a variety of different procedures. We know that even simple dental cleanings can be stressful for many people, and we aim to provide as comfortable an experience as possible.
Dr. Leidy has always been passionate about sedation dentistry and has completed elective courses to further his knowledge in this area. This includes training with some of the country’s leading sedation experts at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Southern California. As a result, Mill Dam Dental Care is now Virginia Beach’s leading provider of sedation dentistry. If you’re interested in oral conscious sedation for your dental care, Mill Dam Dental is here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.