If the mere thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair makes you anxious, oral conscious sedation can help you relax and properly care for your teeth. Unlike nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or intravenous (IV) sedation, oral conscious sedation involves simply taking a sedative pill before your procedure. In addition to helping people suffering from dental anxiety or phobia, oral sedation is often a good choice for those with a strong gag reflex, low pain threshold, or particularly sensitive teeth. An oral sedative can bring peace of mind to patients who have a fear of needles (which are often used to administer local anesthesia) or have trouble getting numb.
By administering oral conscious sedation, Reston sedation dentist Dr. Wayne Myles can efficiently complete multiple procedures at once, while the patient remains comfortable and free of anxiety. This is especially beneficial for patients who need extensive dental work or live far away from our dental office. To learn more about sedation dentistry or schedule an appointment, contact us today or request an appointment online.
Oral Sedation: About the Process
There are a variety of sedation options, but oral conscious sedation is effective and easy to use for the purpose of dental treatment. Discuss your medical history and current prescriptions with Dr. Myles before your appointment so that he can evaluate any risks and reduce the potential for side effects. With oral sedation, you will simply ingest a prescribed pill prior to your appointment. You may need to fast for up to 12 hours before your visit since food can negatively interact with sedatives.
Depending on the dosage, oral sedatives can cause mild or moderate effects. If you are mildly sedated, you will be relaxed but awake during the procedure. With a higher dose, you will remain conscious, but may not remember much of your dental visit. Since oral sedatives do not prevent pain, Dr. Myles will also administer local anesthesia. Our staff will carefully monitor you during your procedure to ensure that you are safe and comfortable. You will probably feel drowsy for several hours after your appointment, so you should have a friend or family member available to drive you to and from our office.
Oral Conscious Sedation Benefits
Oral conscious sedation allows patients who would otherwise avoid dental treatment to feel comfortable during a range of procedures. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from dental anxiety, but avoiding the dentist only allows decay, infection, or other oral health issues to spiral out of control. Ultimately, this leads to the need for more invasive dental treatment and greater financial investment to restore your health. Oral conscious sedation will allow you to remain calm and comfortable during dental procedures, so you can have a stress-free appointment and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?
Anyone who suffers from dental anxiety is eligible for oral conscious sedation. It can also benefit patients who need to treat multiple issues at once or have medical issues, like arthritis or back pain, that make professional dental care difficult.
You should not let anything come between you and a healthy smile, including dental anxiety. To learn more about how oral conscious sedation can help you, contact us or schedule a consultation online.
Oral Sedation FAQS
What is recovery like after having oral sedation?
There isn’t any recovery in the sense of healing, but it does take some time for the sedative to both take effect and to fully resolve afterward. With oral sedation, you’ll need to have someone drive you home after your appointment, as you are not allowed to drive a car for 24 hours afterward. You also cannot make any legally binding decisions within that period.
Is oral sedation safe?
All of the oral sedatives used for dental oral sedation are regulated and approved for use by the FDA. Dr. Myles is certified in sedation dentistry and he oversees all of the delivery of sedation. With oral sedation, you’re drowsy, but not asleep, so there are not any of the risks involved with general anesthesia. You can still respond to requests from Dr. Myles and our team. These are completely safe treatments. Plus, when you consider that oral sedation allows patients with extreme anxiety to still receive the dental care they require, this improves the patient’s oral health.
Is oral sedation dentistry painful?
You need to be aware of the difference between sedation and anesthesia. Sedation does not address pain; it addresses anxiety. Taking the oral sedative, obviously, is painless. Once you are sufficiently calm and relaxed, then Dr. Myles will administer local anesthesia, if necessary, for your treatment, and that will alleviate any pain whatsoever. During your treatment, you will not feel anything.
Does insurance cover oral sedation?
As you know, our insurance system consists of a hodge-podge of varying plans and coverages. Unfortunately, most plans do not include coverage for the cost of sedation, as they do not deem it “medically necessary.” At Smiles by Myles, we disagree with that assumption because if the only way a patient can come in to see us for his or her necessary dental care is through sedation, it seems as if that is necessary. We work with insurance companies every day trying to gain the highest level of coverage, but sedation is usually an additional charge. Fortunately, oral sedation is simple and doesn’t cost much when compared with IV sedation and general anesthesia.
How do I prepare before an appointment where I will receive oral sedation?
The only requirement prior to having oral sedation is to fast for a period of between 8 and 12 hours prior to your appointment. This is due to the fact that food can interact negatively with sedatives. We will discuss this with you prior to your appointment.
You’ll also need to arrange to have someone drive you home from your appointment, as the law prohibits operating a motor vehicle for 24 hours after receiving sedation.
Are there risks involved with oral sedation?
As mentioned above, Dr. Myles has an additional certification in sedation dentistry. He completely monitors the administration of your sedation, which simply involves taking an oral sedative. These are typically diazepam (Valium), triazolam (Halcion), or non-benzodiazepines such as zolpidem (Ambien). You’ll feel drowsy but are still awake. A nice side benefit for patients is that these sedatives create a slight amnesia effect, so they have little recollection of their appointment afterward.
Sedation dentistry is a virtually risk-free method of allowing anxious patients to overcome their fear and receive the necessary dental treatment they need. The real risk is being overly anxious and not coming to see a dentist, such as Dr. Myles. That imperils your dental health, and it can impact your overall health as well.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about oral sedation please contact us for a consultation or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.