What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses relaxing medication to help patients overcome dental anxiety. All you do is take one pill before your dental appointment. Depending on the level and type of your anxiety, we may give you additional medication to help you sleep the night before. Your medication will help you arrive at your dental appointment feeling relaxed and comfortable. You will not be asleep during your dental appointment, you will be awake and able to respond to instructions.
You will need to have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment. Sedation dentistry has an amnesiac effect, so you won’t remember much about your appointment, which can help you overcome your anxiety for future appointments. Because tension increases your discomfort, you will likely experience less discomfort after an appointment than your previous dental experiences.
Who Is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry can help people who experience:
- Dental fear or anxiety
- Negative reactions to certain sounds or smells in the dentist’s office
- Discomfort from sitting in the dental chair or holding their mouth open
- Difficulty sitting through long dental treatments
- Strong gag reactions
Medications used are also very safe and rarely interact with other medications you are taking, but you should talk to Dr. Rice about prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking. You should also mention any prior allergic reactions to medications, and whether you have a heart condition or sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea.
How to Choose a Sedation Dentist
Sedation dentistry is very safe when used properly, but as with all medications, risk can increase if a dentist is not properly trained. You want to make sure your dentist has received training in sedation dentistry and has considerable experience in using the technique with his patients.