Reduce Dental Anxiety With Oral Conscious Sedation
Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, there are many ways to combat dental anxiety and get the oral health care you need. Sedation dentistry can help you feel calm and relaxed, create painless treatments, and even make the procedure go by more quickly. But you might be wondering which form of sedation is right for you. If you’re not a fan of needles, but you need something stronger than laughing gas, then the Belvidere dentists at Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry may recommend oral conscious sedation.
What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is a form of sedation that involves a pill. The pill is swallowed at a certain time before your procedure to allow time for the effects to take place. By the time you show up at our Belvidere dental office for your appointment, you’ll be calm and ready for your procedure.
Benefits of Oral Conscious Sedation
There are many benefits to oral conscious sedation that might make it the right option for you, some of which include:
- Strength — Oral sedation is a better choice for patients who need a stronger sedative effect than laughing gas.
- Simplicity — For oral sedation, you only need to take your pill at the right time and come to our Belvidere dental office, greatly simplifying the process.
- Consciousness — As the name implies, oral conscious sedation means you can stay awake during the procedure. This means we can ask you questions and keep better track of your vitals. You might fall asleep because you’re so relaxed, but we can easily wake you.
- Increased Pain Resistance — Oral sedatives help increase your resistance to pain, which can be helpful if you have a tolerance to local anesthetics.
- Painless & Comfortable — Oral conscious sedation only takes a simple pill, no needles involved. You also won’t need to wear a mask or nosepiece.
- Improved Dosage Control — Your dentist will prescribe the exact dosage needed before your procedure, removing the need for adjustment during the procedure.
What To Expect From Oral Conscious Sedation
Before Your Visit
Your Belvidere dentist will evaluate your candidacy for oral conscious sedation during your initial consultation. They’ll review your medical history, ask you questions about any medication use, and work in tandem with your primary care provider as needed to ensure sedation will be both safe and effective.
If you’re approved for oral conscious sedation, your dentist will give you specific instructions to follow beforehand. You’ll need to fast for a prescribed amount of time, likely at least six hours before your procedure. Wear loose, comfortable clothes with short sleeves so we can easily place equipment and monitor your vitals.
Be sure to remove nail polish, jewelry, and contact lenses before your appointment. These items can harm you while you’re in the dentist’s chair or hide signs of cyanosis. Because of the powerful effects of the sedative, you’ll need to secure reliable transportation from a trustworthy adult to and from your appointment. It may also be smart to schedule time off from work the next day so you can fully recover.
During Your Visit
Once you’ve arrived, we’ll ask you questions to make sure you’re ready. If you’re prepared, we’ll attach you to machinery that will allow us to monitor your vitals. Since the sedative should already be working by the time you arrive, we’ll simply move on with the procedure from there.
After Your Visit
You’ll need to have your transportation take you home so you can recover from the sedative. We’ll give you specific instructions for recovery and aftercare before you go. Do not attempt to work, drive, or make any major decisions until the sedative has completely worn off. You may feel the effects for up to eight hours after you take your prescribed dose, but you may need to rest for at least 24 hours for the sedative to fully leave your system.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be a good candidate for oral conscious sedation if any of the following apply to you:
- You require a stronger sedative than laughing gas
- You can take time off to recuperate
- You can secure reliable transportation home
- You have a long procedure ahead
- You don’t like needles
- You have a strong gag reflex
Common substances used for oral conscious sedation include Midazolam, Ativan, and Halcion®. Your dentist will inform you of which substances will be used for oral sedation and make sure you don’t have any allergies to the sedative beforehand.
The exact cost of your oral conscious sedation will depend on many factors. While oral sedation is usually cheaper than IV sedation but slightly more expensive than laughing gas, the exact cost will be influenced by dosage, the kind of sedative prescribed, and your insurance coverage.
We encourage you to contact your insurance provider beforehand to confirm with them which costs they can cover. If you need help affording your sedation, talk to any of our dental providers and we’ll work something out with you.
Oral conscious sedation may be a safe and effective option for your child based on a few factors such as their current health, medication use, and ability to swallow pills. This type of sedation involves no needles or masks, so your child will likely find it a more comfortable alternative. Your dentist will ask for your child’s medical history before any procedure begins and work in tandem with their primary care provider as needed.