Oral Sedation Dentistry in Salem, MA for Dental Anxiety
If you have a fear of the dentist or have had a negative dental experience in the past, we want you to know that you are not alone – and that there’s help. With oral conscious dental sedation, we have helped individuals with severe dental phobia receive the care they need, and we are confident that we can do the same for you in a calm and comfortable state. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today if you want to take the next step toward a new-and-improved smile with our Sedation Dentistry.
The consequences of postponing and avoiding professional care result in neglect or delayed treatment that can affect the function and appearance of your smile and can affect overall oral health and quality of your life.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
For oral or conscious sedation, the dentist will prescribe you a sedative (usually 2 pills) for the night before and the day of, one hour before your dental procedure.
Sedation dentistry helps you feel calm, relaxed and at ease during the dental procedure. During the sedation, you will technically be awake but feel carefree and relaxed and be awaken by a gentle nudge. It is also called conscious sedation or “twilight sleep” because it creates a state of short term amnesia(forgetfulness) where you are relaxed enough to have a good experience while being treated in the dentist’s office.
Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is most commonly used for patients who are nervous about having their teeth cleaned or treated. However, it can also be used for individuals with other issues such as sleep apnea or difficulty swallowing. Sedation dentistry can also be used to help manage pain during certain procedures.
Some patients choose to have sedation dentistry for their dental care simply because they want a more relaxed experience. Others may actually fear the pain involved in traditional dental procedures, such as tooth extractions or fillings.
- We would recommend it for patients with:
- Dental anxiety.
- Lengthy treatment.
- Am overly sensitive gag reflex.
- Fear of needles.
- Extremely sensitive teeth.
- Feeling of claustrophobia while in the dental chair.
- Decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia.
- Difficulty controlling movements.
Oral Conscious Sedation – How Does it Work?
No needles – just a simple pill. Oral conscious sedation is so-called because it is taken orally, making it an extremely convenient and popular option amongst our patients. For patients undergoing oral conscious sedation, we advise them to have an escort to and from the dental office arranged, as they will be unable to drive in a sedated state. The process entails the following:
Night Before: you will be prescribed two pills. The first pill, typically an anti-anxiety drug, is taken the night before your treatment. This helps ensure you enjoy a good night's sleep and are well-rested and relaxed for your treatment the following day.
Day Off: On the day of your treatment, you will take the second pill approximately one hour before your appointment. You'll still receive a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums, but your dentist usually does this once you're already feeling comfortable from the sedatives. The pill will take effect quickly, so you must have an escort.
The Procedure: During your treatment, you will remain conscious and be able to respond to commands. However, you will be in a state of deep relaxation akin to light sleep. One of the reasons we utilize oral conscious sedation is because of the ease of use it provides. Individuals who are afraid of needles or fear they may feel claustrophobic with a face mask on can rest easy, knowing that taking an oral conscious sedative is no different than taking medicine for a headache.
After the Procedure: Once your treatment is complete, the effects of the oral conscious sedative will continue for several hours. You will be unable to drive and will be dependent on others until the effects have worn off. Again, we must stress that an escort is necessary. Once the effects have worn off, you will retain little to no memory of your procedure. The oral conscious sedatives are so effective at eliminating anxiety that one of the side effects is temporary amnesia. For many patients, this aspect of the sedative is the most attractive part; patients find themselves at home, their dental treatment complete, without remembering ever having gone to the dentist in the first place.
What are the Advantages Compared to Other Sedation Modalities?
Oral Conscious Sedation is the most effective and least invasive of all the sedation modalities. It can reduce the discomfort of procedures and the chances of complications occurring.
Oral Conscious Sedation provides a more natural experience for patients by lessening the effects of sedation in their mouths while still allowing them to remain conscious during treatment. This means that you can talk to your dentist and have a conversation with them throughout your visit, making it easier for you to feel at ease during your appointment.
It’s important to note that oral conscious sedation is only used when other forms of sedation are not an option or are not as effective at providing relief from pain during treatment. This includes Novocaine, local anesthesia, general anesthesia, and IV sedation.
What Happens Before Sedation Dentistry?
This first step is often referred to as pre-consultation. The dentist will have a detailed discussion about your dental needs and answer any questions you may have about sedation dentistry. They’ll discuss your health history and ask about any medications or supplements you take.
You shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least six hours before your dental appointment. Unless otherwise noted by your dentist, you should take all routine medications without interruption.
Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any blood thinners, antidepressants, mood-altering drugs, or other drugs that will alter your alertness.
What are the Risks or Complications of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is generally safe and effective when performed by an experienced dentist, such as Dr. Anu Isaac, who is familiar with how to use sedatives. However, there are some risks and complications you should know about before undergoing this type of treatment:
The risks of sedation dentistry include:
- Sedated patients can experience memory loss or confusion. This may be due to the medication used.
- Sedated patients may have difficulty swallowing or talking.
- Sedation can affect your ability to drive or perform other tasks that require alertness.
- Sedation dentistry can cause nausea, vomiting, headache.
- If you are allergic to any medications or anesthetics, you may experience anaphylaxis after receiving these treatments.
- Increased risk of sleepwalking (lingering drowsiness).
Generally, sedation dentistry isn’t recommended
Recovery times vary. It depends on how your body responds to the medications. Oral conscious sedation typically needs about 24 hours for a full recovery.
With oral sedatives, you’ll need to wait at least one full day before returning to work or school. Some people may need longer. Your dentist can tell you what to expect in your situation.
If you’ve had oral sedation, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before driving again.
You can eat and drink immediately after your appointment, though most people prefer to wait until the numbness from the local anesthesia wears off. It’s best to start with something light, like clear liquids, and progress to a smoothie or milkshake. If you’re feeling up to it, you can eat something more substantial after a couple of hours.
Your dentist will provide you with a list of postoperative guidelines. For most dental procedures, you’ll be able to eat normally again within one week. It might take longer if you’ve had work done on both sides of your mouth.
If you’ve recently had sedation dentistry, the effects can take at least 24 hours to wear off. If you develop worrisome symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting, a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.33 degrees Celsius), or pain that doesn’t improve with medication, call your dentist for further instructions.
Oral sedation dentistry is not for everyone, and it’s essential to understand the risks and benefits before deciding. A person who has these conditions may not be ideal for oral sedation:
- Impaired liver or kidney function
- Allergy to benzodiazepine
- Congestive heart failure
- Bipolar disorder or depression
- Chronic bronchitis
- Respiratory diseases
- Consuming other medications that counteract oral sedation.