Does the thought of seeing your dentist make you tense? Would you rather experience the pain of a toothache than book an appointment with your dentist? Fret not. You are not alone. A lot of people have a phobia of going to see a dentist ever since they were a toddler. Fortunately there is a way to negate this anxiety with oral sedation.
What Is Oral Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation entails using medication, in order to help a patient relax as they await any dental procedure. It’s often referred to as “sleep dentistry” but that is an inaccurate term, since most patients are usually awake during the dental procedure except in general anaesthesia.
With oral sedation, the patient is usually given a pill, Halcion which falls within the same drug class as valium. The pill should be taken an hour prior to the dental procedure. While you might remain awake after taking the pill, you might feel a bit drowsy. A few patients can actually fall asleep during the procedure, if they take a moderate amount of the drug. Such patients however can be jolted back into reality with a gentle shake.
What to Let Your Dentist Know
It’s important to provide your doctor with a thorough and clear health history including;
- Any acute or chronic medical conditions for which you have been diagnosed and treated for. Your health condition affects your pre and post dental procedure care plans particularly for those who are smokers and diabetics, so it’s crucial to let your dentist know of any medical condition that you are ailing from.
- Any prescribed medications that you are currently taking
- Any herbal remedies, vitamins (including aspirin) or over the counter medications that you are taking. Some people seek health treatment in the form of herbal remedies and a good example is Kava Kava and St. John’s Wort used to treat anxiety and depression. These natural remedies however interact with oral sedatives and it’s important to let out this detail so that your medications can be adjusted.
- Particular foods which can seem harmless such as grapefruit juice can interact with your oral sedatives as well. The enzymes found in grapefruit juice can interfere with the metabolism of your medication and as such you should not consume grapefruit juice at least 72 hours prior to your dental procedure.