Conscious Sedation

Sedation is widely recognized as a treatment for anxious or fearful dental patients. This involves the use of medication that relaxes your body & mind.

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The most common form of sedation is conscious sedation, which allows you to be awake & able to communicate with the dentist. You will not sleep through your procedure, but you will feel drowsy, calm & comfortable. Though you will be awake, you may have trouble remembering details about your appointment. In fact, you may not remember any of it!

Meridian Dental Care is dedicated to maximizing your comfort & eliminating your worries so you can get the treatment you need without any hassle. That is why we offer oral sedation to our patients.

What Is Oral Sedation?

Patients who feel uncomfortable about their dental treatment can choose to receive oral sedation. This involves taking an anti-anxiety pill about an hour before your dental appointment begins. If you need extensive work done or have not been to a dentist in awhile, this may be a good option.

Oral sedation is not meant to knock you out. Instead, it will just relax you while the dentist works on your teeth. You will still be awake & able to respond to the dentist if they ask you any questions. Patients typically report feeling drowsy, carefree & generally “out of it.”

The medications used for oral sedation are called benzodiazepines. Doctors normally prescribe these drugs for anxiety & panic disorders, which makes them very useful for patients who experience fear in the dental chair.

Who can receive Oral Sedation?

Women who are nursing or pregnant should not receive oral sedation. Patients with heart, lung or liver diseases should consult with their dentist or primary care doctor before undergoing oral sedation.

Anxious & fearful children can also be given oral sedation. In addition to reducing your child’s discomfort, sedation can help establish a positive association with dental care. Children who receive oral sedation should be monitored for the rest of the day after their appointment & should refrain from participating in any physical activities such as sports.

Oral Sedation Overview

  • Benzodiazepines may negatively interact with other medications. Be sure to let us know in advance about any prescriptions, over-the-counter products or dietary supplements you are taking. You must also avoid consuming alcohol before & after you receive oral sedation, because the combined sedative effects can be very dangerous.
  • Before your appointment, we recommend that you refrain from eating anything or drinking any non-clear liquids for at least six hours. Eating shortly before you take the medication may reduce its effectiveness & can cause nausea.
  • You may have trouble remembering all of your procedure, which some patients find to be a good thing. Our team will monitor your level of sedation as well as your vital signs to ensure your total comfort & safety.
  • Once your treatment is finished, you will not be able to drive home. Benzodiazepines inhibit your judgment & coordination much like alcohol, so you will need someone to drive you to & from your appointment. It is normal to feel groggy & tired once the medication begins to wear off.
  • You should refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after receiving oral sedation.

Let us help you overcome your dental fears! Call us today to see if conscious sedation is right for you.

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