What To Know About Using Oral Sedation At The Dentist

Are you seeking a form of sedation dentistry for your upcoming dental appointment? Here are a few things that you should know about using the oral sedation method to make your experience more tolerable.

What Is Oral Sedation?

When a dentist refers to oral sedation, they are talking about using a medication that is going to make you more relaxed. The type of drug that is used is known as a benzodiazepine, and it is commonly referred to with names like Valium. It must be prescribed by your dentist, so it needs to be given prior to your appointment.

When Do You Take Oral Sedation Medication?

Oral sedation should be taken before you arrive at the dentist while you are still at home. That is because the oral sedation method can take a while for it to fully kick in, so you'll need to follow the directions for how far in advance it should be taken. If you wait to take it once you have arrived at the dentist, it may not work in time for your actual appointment.

One thing to be aware of is that it is not safe to drive after you have taken the medication. It's recommended that a friend or family member drives you to and from the dentist because you will not be able to do so on your own. 

What Does It Feel Like To Use Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation will make you feel very relaxed. If you have a phobia about going to the dentist, the medication can sometimes be enough to get you through the door. You will still need to use a form of anesthesia to numb the area of the mouth that the dentist is working on. The dentist may use an additional form of oral sedation once you arrive, such as nitrous oxide, if the oral sedation is not working as intended to fully relax you. 

What Are The Downsides Of Oral Sedation?

Everyone reacts differently to oral sedation, so it is harder to predict how it will work with each patient. Some people find that they respond very well to oral sedation, while it has very little effect on others. Oral sedation also takes a bit of time for it to work, which can make it hard for a dentist to up the dose of your oral sedation once you arrive and they discover it isn't working as well as they hoped.