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Oral Conscious Sedation

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

You will be prescribed a pill (Halcion) to take one hour prior to your scheduled dental visit. It is imperative that you have someone drive you to, and from your dental appointment. When you arrive at the dental office, you will be awake and feeling very drowsy and relaxed.

Upon your arrival for your dental appointment, you will be immediately escorted to the dental treatment area and seated in the dental chair. You will be placed on a monitor to carefully watch your vital signs during the entire appointment.

If you would like to hear some soothing, relaxing music, a CD player with headset, is available. Tinted glasses will be used to keep the bright light out of your eyes, and for protection. If you feel cold, you will be covered with a blanket. A small pillow is available for the small of your back. It is our desire that you are fully relaxed and comfortable before, during and after your dental appointment.

There is no analgesic or pain relieving qualities provided by oral sedatives. Local anesthetics will be used to prevent pain. Because you are so relaxed, and because of the use of painless injection techniques, you will probably not remember when you teeth were actually being “numbed”.

When your treatment is completed, your friend or relative will drive you home, where you can climb into bed for a soothing, relaxing nap.

When you are fully awake, you will feel comfortable, relaxed and free from stress. You will probably remember very little about your wonderful, relaxing, dental experience.

You should not operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours after receiving Oral Conscious Sedation.

Reasons for Oral Conscious Sedation

  1.  Oral Sedation is a safe and effective way of relieving the fear and anxiety associated with going to the dentist
  2. Dentists have used oral medications for many years to relieve fear and apprehension associated with dental appointments
  3.  It works well for most patients allowing them to relax and have little or no memory of their dental appointments (partial or total amnesia)
  4.  Its easy, you take a pill one hour prior to your dental appointment
  5.  Some patients are so relaxed that they sleep right through their dental appointment. When someone is relaxed they will feel less tired after a long dental appointments.
  6.  Patients are so relaxed and comfortable, that a large amount of complex treatment can be accomplished in a single appointment
  7.  People who have trouble getting numb are often helped by Oral Sedation Dentistry
  8.  If you are scared of needles, sedation dentistry can help you
  9.  People who have difficulty controlling movements,  such as Parkinson’s Disease or Cerebral Palsy are often helped by oral sedation
  10.  The dentist can complete more dental treatment of higher quality,  in a shorter period of time, on a patient who is relaxed

Limitations of Oral Conscious Sedation

Our ultimate goal with a patient who has high anxiety with dental care is to get them comfortable quickly and carefully. Because Oral Conscious sedation has to be absorbed in the gut before getting to the bloodstream for effect, the process takes time. Commonly it takes 30 minutes to an hour to take effect. The level of sedation is not comparable from patient to patient as we are all so different. Titrating medicines is difficult with oral meds because of the time it takes for effectiveness. In our office, there is a baseline for oral medications that we administer, but it may not be as much effect as a patient may want. The reason for Dr. Ward’s restrictions with oral sedation medications is that if the meds need to be reversed in an emergency situation, the only way to reverse quickly is through an IV. This is primarily why we sedate mild anxiety with oral meds, but moderate to severe with IV so that we can titrate the meds to an effective dose where the patient is completely comfortable in the safest modality possible.

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