knowledge for peace of mind
Do you suffer from anxiety or insomnia due to impending dental treatments? Has nitrous oxide not worked well for you? Has this kept you from having treatments done? We may discuss oral conscious sedation as a stronger option to mitigate your dental fear.
what is oral conscious sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is a safe intervention to mitigate severe anxiety related to the dental visit. This involves taking an oral sedative drug prior to your appointment.
you might need
oral conscious sedation …
If anxiety is getting in the way of your dental care, nitrous oxide might be offered as a solution to help you feel more comfortable during treatments. If this is unable to mitigate your anxiety during your appointment, or your concerns are preventing you from even making it to your appointment, we may recommend oral conscious sedation.
This involves taking an oral dose of prescribed medication, Benzodiazepines, most commonly used for oral conscious sedation. Examples of these are triazolam, alprazolam and diazepam.
We can also use nitrous oxide in conjunction with the oral conscious sedation for an even greater amount of anxiety reduction.
This treatment is generally considered safe, as the dosages prescribed are below levels that would impair breathing ability.
- if your significant dental anxiety cannot be handled with nitrous oxide alone
- if you’re suffering from pre-appointment insomnia due to anticipatory anxiety.
While you're familiarizing yourself with this procedure, make sure you also visit our section on how we treat you during your care with a range of nice-to-have and need-to-have patient comforts.
Distraction Methods – Therapeutic interventions – Pain management
what to expect with oral conscious sedation
Prior to taking the oral sedation medication, patients will need to sign all of the forms pertaining to the procedure. It would be inappropriate to sign any documents while actively sedated.
The dentist will either submit a prescription to your pharmacy or provide the medication in the office.
The medication is most commonly taken approximately one hour before the scheduled appointment. However, in some cases additional dosing will be advised the night before the appointment to manage insomnia resulting from anxiety.
Patients will need to be driven to the office by someone over 18 years old. This adult will need to stay in the waiting area during treatment and drive the patient home after the appontment is completed.
advice & tips
Good oral health vs. dental fear
Agree regular dental visits keep them healthy
don’t visit the dentist due to fear
Statistics from the ADA, Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States
oral conscious sedation faqs
answering your questions about oral conscious sedation…
Can I drive myself home after having my treatment with oral conscious sedation?
No, unlike nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation medication will not allow you to drive yourself to or home from your appointment. You will need an adult (18+) to drive you to the appointment, wait in the waiting area during the treatment and drive you home.
Will I go to sleep with oral conscious sedation?
No, as the name suggests, you’ll be conscious. However, you may feel drowsy. Sometimes patients do nod off, but can be easily awakened. The medication does not provide pain reduction (analgesia), but does reduce anxiety (anxiolytic). You will still be able to communicate with the dentist.
Often, people say they don’t remember much during the procedure as if they were daydreaming.
Will oral conscious sedation hurt?
No! This is a prescribed oral pill, to reduce feelings of anxiety, nervousness and fear of essential healthcare.