Are you the type of person that becomes scared or anxious when you think about going to the dentist? What if we told you that there were ways that you could get rid of this fear that overtakes you and have dental work done without the worry that has plagued you for so long?
With oral conscious sedation dentistry, you can have dental procedures completed without all the anxiety and stress you’re used to, which may have kept you from taking care of your teeth properly.
What is Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry?
Oral conscious sedation, which is also often referred to as just oral sedation dentistry, is popular because it doesn’t require any type of injection, so if you’re afraid of needles, you shouldn’t worry.
Oral sedation medications are given by mouth, and can either be swallowed, or dissolved under the tongue. Many dentists prefer the under the tongue method because it often works more quickly than swallowing a pill.
Before Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
Prior to your appointment it’s critical that you provide your dentist with your full health history, which should include:
- Medications – Any medications that have been prescribed by a doctor
- Medical conditions – Any medical conditions for which you’ve been treated
- Supplements – Certain herbal supplements may cause an adverse reaction with certain oral sedative medications, so it’s important that your dentist knows that you’ve taken them recently.
- Diet – Certain foods may have an effect on oral sedation medication. One food in particular that you should avoid prior to oral sedation is grapefruit, which can interfere with the breakdown of certain oral sedatives. Most dentists will tell you to avoid grapefruit for at least 72 hours prior to your dental appointment.
- Risk factors – Be sure to let your dentist know about certain risk factors like alcohol consumption or smoking, which may affect how well certain oral sedatives will work for you.
How to Prepare For Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
Once you and your dentist decide that oral sedation is a good fit for you, you’ll need to make a variety of preparations prior to your appointment, including:
- Avoid eating or drinking prior to appointment – You should avoid eating or drinking at least 6 hours prior to your appointment, unless directed otherwise by your dentist.
- Take time off from work – Because you’ll want the oral sedatives to wear off completely before going back to work, it’s best to take some time off after your appointment. Talk with your dentist about the specifics of how long you should stay out of work after your appointment.
- Stay hydrated – Make sure to drink plenty of liquids prior to, and after your dental appointment to help stay hydrated.
- Bring a friend or family member – It’s important that you not drive while under the influence of oral sedatives. Arrange to have a friend or family member take you to and from your appointment.
Can You Benefit from Oral Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation dentistry is beneficial for people who have a true fear of going to the dentist. In addition, the following people may benefit from oral sedation dentistry:
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
- Need a significant amount of dental work performed
- Have a low threshold for pain
- Have trouble sitting still in the dentist’s chair
Other Types of Oral Sedation
Aside from oral conscious sedation dentistry, there are several other types of sedation that are regularly used with patients experiencing anxiety and fear related to a dental appointment or procedure.
- IV moderate sedation – With this type of treatment, you’ll receive the sedative medication through an IV. This method of treatment also allows the dentist to constantly monitor and adjust your level of sedation.
- Inhaled minimal sedation – Often referred to as “laughing gas,” minimal sedation uses nitrous oxide, which is administered through a mask placed over your nose. The nitrous oxide helps you to relax, but this type of sedation tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where it may be possible for you to drive yourself home after the procedure.
- Deep sedation or general anesthesia – With this type of sedation, you’ll be either almost completely unconscious, or unconscious during your dental procedure.
How much does sedation dentistry cost?
If you have dental insurance you may be able to have sedation dental work covered, but it’s important to make sure you’re clear about any deductibles or copays when using dental insurance. Although, another great option for dental coverage is a dental savings plans, which can help to reduce costs by as much as 15%-50%. If you’re looking for more information related to dental savings plans, feel free to browse our large selection of individual & family plans at our website.