For some people, going to the dentist can be an extremely difficult situation. A fear of going to the dentist, panic attacks, or certain medical conditions can make regular dental visits inconvenient and a major source of anxiety. Thankfully our Austin, TX dental practice offers sedation dentistry, which helps patients feel relaxed while seeing the dentist.
Oral conscious sedation is just one sedation dentistry option to consider. Let’s cover the basics of how it works and why it might be ideal for you.
What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?
Oral conscious sedation refers to the use of a sedative taken orally that allows a patient to achieve a relaxed state. Oral sedation is just one of many methods of helping patients who have anxiety, dental phobia, or face other issues that could make a dental procedure challenging.
How Oral Conscious Sedation Works
Prior to a dental visit, a patient will be instructed to take prescription anti-anxiety medication about an hour before their dental visit. When they arrive at the practice, they will be in a completely relaxed state during the procedure. No fear, no worry, just calmness and stillness as a dentist performs the necessary work.
What Is It Like Being Sedated for a Dental Procedure?
The sensation of oral conscious sedation is often described as “twilight sleep.” This means that the patient is not fully unconscious during the procedure, which occurs with general anesthesia. Instead, the patient is conscious, responsive, and aware of what is going on around them, but they will not be anxious at all.
After the procedure, the twilight sleep will wear off and patients will be back to normal.
Ideal Candidates for Oral Conscious Sedation
Good candidates for oral conscious sedation include the following:
- People Who Suffer from Dental Phobia - If you are afraid of going to the dentist, oral conscious sedation can put your fears at ease and allow you to undergoing the dental work you need.
- People with a Poor Gag Reflex - If you have a poor gag reflex that makes dental work uncomfortable, oral conscious sedation can make this less of an issue.
- People Undergoing an Involved Dental Procedure - Major dental work can be uncomfortable for patients without being sedated. Oral conscious sedation will make things easier on the patient.
- People with a Medical Condition Affecting Body Position - Cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, and other conditions that affect the body’s movement can be addressed thanks to sedation dentistry techniques.
Safety Precautions for Oral Conscious Sedation
Patients will not be in any fit state to drive to the dental practice or back home after taking a sedative drug. To prevent harm to the patient and others, a loved one should be present to help the patient get to the practice and back home. It’s a simple safety measure, but an important one.
Before oral conscious sedation is performed, we will also note any potential contraindications with the sedative prescribed. This helps prevent allergic reactions and other adverse health effects.
Alternatives to Oral Conscious Sedation
If oral conscious sedation is not ideal for the patient, we can look into nitrous oxide sedation or the use of IV sedation instead. We want to make sure you are free from worry when you’re at the practice, and that your dental health needs are carefully considered.
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry
For more information on your dental care options and how we can help you smile with enhanced confidence, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at 38th Street Dental looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.