For many people, the thought of going to the dentist’s office can create a strong sense of anxiety and fear. Some people avoid the dentist's chair entirely instead of confronting that fear. For these people, oral sedation dentistry may be the ideal choice.

What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

Oral Sedation dentistry takes advantages of medication to help patients relax in the dentists' chair. Oral sedation usually involves taking a pill, whose effects can be described as moderate or minimal. Moderate sedation, also known as anxiolysis, is achieved by using a small dose of a mild oral sedative to create an elevated state of comfort and relaxation. Moderate sedation is achieved with higher doses, which may result in a slightly depressed level of consciousness, with the patient remaining awake, able to breathe freely, retaining their reflexes and able respond to verbal instructions from the dental surgeon. It is often preferred over light sedation for patients with dental anxiety or for lengthy and invasive procedures. The patient is conscious throughout the procedure but often reports feeling very relaxed and stress-free. The pill may also make patients feel drowsy. Some patients are relaxed enough that they actually fall asleep in the chair.

Advantages of Oral Sedation Dentistry

One of the primary advantages of oral sedation dentistry is ease of administration, meaning the patient only has to take a pill, which is often preferable and less expensive that more invasive procedures involving needles or masks. The procedure is effective at providing a relief from moderate anxiety. Oral sedation is considered safer than general anesthesia with a low incidence of adverse reactions. Some patients will be so relaxed during the procedure that they report feeling less tired after their appointment. Hours may feel like minutes and your dental surgeon is often able to complete a larger amount of work in a shorter period of time. Many patients also report an amnesiac effect and have very little memory of the procedure which may help minimize traumatic experiences. Studies have shown that the patient is more likely to return.

Who Can Benefit From Oral Sedation Dentistry?

Almost all patients can benefit from Oral Sedation Dentistry. Typically it’s used for patients who experience anxiety about visiting a dental surgeon but oral sedation dentistry can be beneficial for a wide variety of people. It's often used by patients who have limited time, as the procedures can be completed faster. It’s also desirable for patients who can’t tolerate long dental visits for reasons ranging from jaw soreness, severe gag reflexes, inability to sit for prolonged period of time, or for patients who simply seek a more comfortable dental visit.

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Right For You?

Does the thought of visiting the dentist produce a feeling of anxiety? Do you have difficulty sitting in a chair for long period of time? Do you experience strong gag -reflexes or jaw pain or need lengthy procedures to return you smile to its natural and healthy state? If you answered yes to any of the questions, talk to your dental surgeon today and see if oral sedation is right for you.

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