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Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation 

 Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, periodontal experience.

Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep.  In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure.  Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but oral conscious sedation only works to calm anxiety throughout the periodontal visit.

Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no needles and no anxiety.  Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards.  Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.

Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:

  • Anxiety is alleviated.
  • No needles.
  • High level of safety
  • Procedures seem to take less time
  • Few side effects.

Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles.  Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation.  Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses.  This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure.  Usually, a dose of medication is taken the night before the appointment and at the office about 60 to 90 minutes prior to the procedure.

What types of drugs are used in oral conscious sedation?

Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines.  Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia and seizures.  Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time.  The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.

Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:

Hydroxyzine– This antihistamine/sedative helps prevent nausea during procedures, has anti-anxiety effects and helps patients feel sleepy and relaxed.

Triazolam – Usually used to treat insomnia, Triazolam is an effective sedative with amnesic properties.  When combined with Hydroxyzine, Triazolam helps patients to feel sleepy and relaxed.

Lorazepam– This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety.  It has amnesic properties and is the only benzodiazepine approved for use with children.

If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please contact our office.