Dental Anxiety and How Oral Sedation Can Help

Dental Anxiety and How Oral Sedation Can Help

Dental sedation is the act of using medication to make a patient more comfortable during a dental procedure. Some people experience intense fear or nervousness when they are at the dentist, while others have body reactions that make it difficult for them to relax during appointments. Many patients can’t even get through a cleaning without panicking at some point! Those who have trouble relaxing through dental treatments may even avoid the dentist altogether because of how uncomfortable they feel. These responses are sometimes called “dental anxiety.”

Patients may be afraid of needles, the drill, or the sounds made during a dental exam. Dental anxiety can occur for many reasons – some related to the patient and some related to the dental office itself. To help patients who have dental anxiety feel more comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair, many dentists offer sedation dentistry services.

Thankfully, there are options to help these patients relax during their procedures. One of the most popular forms of dental sedation is oral conscious sedation. With this type of sedation, the patient is given a pill to take one hour before their appointment to make them drowsy. They may also be given a sedative pill to take a right before their treatment begins; this pill allows them to enter a deeper state of relaxation. Patients typically remain awake but are able to relax throughout their visit. This type of sedation can be a great choice for patients who suffer from serious dental anxiety or have complex treatments that need to be completed in one appointment, such as an extraction or a root canal. The pill will make you drowsy, and you’ll feel pretty groggy by the time you make it to the office, but you’re conscious enough to respond to instructions from your dentist, and it wears off quickly so you can go home after your appointment.

While oral conscious sedation can make patients more relaxed, it is not recommended for patients with certain medical conditions. Before oral conscious sedation is administered, we will review your medical history to ensure you are a good candidate for this sedation method. We will also provide you with specific instructions on what you should do to prepare for your appointment and after you are sent home to ensure a safe experience. We are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your procedure or sedation strategy. 

To learn more about good oral care practices, get in touch with Dr. Steven Go of OC Dental Arts by calling us at (714) 779-7700. 


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