Fear of the dentist, or of dental procedures, isn’t uncommon, but if it’s keeping you from looking after your oral health, then it could be a serious problem. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your anxiety or fear of the dentist, one of which includes oral conscious sedation.
How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?
Oral conscious sedation is not like general anethesia – you won’t be unconscious for the procedure. Instead, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll have fewer memories of the visit or the dental work itself. The medication also reduces your ability to remember smells during the visit, which can be a common trigger of anxiety for many people. You’ll be prescribed a pill (or pills) to take in advance of your appointment.
There are a variety of different medications that can be used for conscious sedation:
- Versed (Midzolam) is a short-acing medication that is useful for shorter appointments, such as hygienist visits.
- Ativan (Lorazepam) works well for people with general anxiety about dental appointments.
- Halcion (Triazolam) is usually used to treat insomnia, but can also be used for oral conscious sedation.
- Valium (Diazepam) is most commonly used for long appointments or procedures.
Useful Information about Oral Conscious Sedation
It’s important to remember that oral conscious sedation is still sedation, and while you won’t be “put under” as you would for a major surgery, you’ll need to allow for the medicine to wear off before driving or operating machinery. It’s a good idea to arrange for someone to bring you home once your trip to the dentist is over, so that you don’t have to worry about driving afterwards. You should also check to make sure that the sedation medicine won’t interact with anything else that you’re taking.
How Could Oral Conscious Sedation Help Me?
If you find that your anxiety over a dentist visit is so intense that you cancel or miss appointments entirely, then you could benefit from oral conscious sedation. Talk to Dr. Philipp about whether or not it’s right for you.