Oral Sedation – An Overview

When is Oral Sedation an Appropriate Choice?

Undergoing oral conscious sedation is an appropriate choice for patients living with a number of physiological, neurological, and psychological conditions, including:

  • Dental fear, characterized by panic, nausea, and an overwhelming sense of dread when confronted with the idea of receiving dental care.
  • Dental anxiety, characterized by unease, excessive worry or doubt, and physiological signs including rapid heartbeat and sweating when confronted with a dental appointment.
  • Sensitive gag reflex that makes even routine dental care difficult and lengthy.
  • Special needs patients with physical disabilities, neurological impairment, or developmental disorders that can impede the pace and effectiveness of dental care.

While the anti-anxiety medications used in oral sedation may have some contraindications with certain medical conditions and drugs, they are safe and effective for the majority of our patients.

What Can I Expect from Oral Sedation Dentistry?

Oral conscious sedation consists of two doses of anti-anxiety medication taken prior to your appointment. You take the first dose the night before your appointment. This dose helps you relax and get a good night’s sleep which will lay the groundwork for feeling calmer in the morning. It’s important to refrain from eating after you’ve taken the first dose. In the morning, about an hour before your appointment, you take the second dose of medication and a trusted friend or relative will bring you to the office. By the time you have been called back to the operating room, you will feel extremely relaxed and disconnected from the procedure you will soon undergo.

Throughout the procedure, Dr. Denes and his assistant will monitor your breathing, heart rate, and blood-oxygen levels to make sure you remain safe. Since you are not actually asleep, you will still be able to answer questions about how you feel. You can expect to feel groggy and “out of it” for at least 2-4 hours after your procedure and will need transportation home after the appointment. By the next morning, you will feel back to normal and have little or no memory of the procedure itself.

What Procedures Can I Undergo with Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation dentistry can complement a wide number of procedures from root canal therapy and dental implants placement to full mouth reconstruction. Your best plan is to discuss your fears or anxiety with Dr. Denes during your initial appointment, so he can make the right recommendation for your needs. Oral conscious sedation is an ideal solution for people undergoing complex or “big case” treatment plans, since it allows Dr. Denes to perform several procedures in the course of a single visit, thus saving you from having to make several return visits. For complex treatment plans, Dr. Denes will waive the fee for oral sedation.

Afraid of the Dentist? We Can Change That.

Using safe, effective sedation dentistry, Fresno general dentist Dr. Alex Denes can calm even the most fearful or nervous patients, so they are able to move forward with preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. If you or someone you love is afraid of the dentist, contact our Fresno dentist office at (559) 297-1800 to schedule an appointment. Fresno Dental Studio proudly serves patients in Fresno and surrounding areas including Clovis, Madera, and Sanger.