What to Expect from Sedation Dentistry

As one of the most popular dental sedation treatments, oral conscious sedation is as simple as taking a pill that helps you feel relaxed and comfortable before your dental visit. Depending on your medical history and anxiety level, we will choose the oral medication that will provide you the optimal experience. Although some refer to it as “sleep dentistry,” most patients with oral conscious sedation stay awake throughout the dental procedure, but report feeling at ease and slightly groggy.

The most well researched and recommended medication by dental journals and universities is one that Dr. Zaichick recommends most: Triazolam.   This medication works more reliably than any other , and our patients have had the best experiences with this medication . Here is what you can expect when you choose oral conscious sedation:

Initial Consultation: At our initial consultation it is important that you communicate your past medical history, any current medications, and your anxiety level so that we can pick the oral medication best suited for your situation. We can talk about your past  dental experiences, and the things you liked best and least about them. Higher levels of anxiety require stronger medication.

Oral Medication: Depending on your circumstances, you will take a pill  the night before ( if you need help getting to sleep from anxiety) and then 1.5 hrs  before the dental visit to help you relax prior to the procedure.

Local Anesthetic: While dental sedation lowers your anxiety level and consequently heightens your pain tolerance, it does not work as a painkiller. Depending on the dental procedure(s) performed, a local anesthetic may be necessary after the dental sedation takes place.

During Procedure: Throughout the dental treatment your protective reflexes, breathing, and circulation are unaffected by the dental sedation. You might feel slightly groggy, but relaxed and unconcerned about the dental procedure. As a safeguard we measure your vital signs regularly.

Transportation: Due to possible drowsiness, it is important to have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment following dental sedation to ensure safety. This must be in a private vehicle, not a taxi. You should also refrain from using heavy machinery that day, or even signing important documents . 

Recovery: You should feel completely normal within 24 hours of your appointment. While side effects of oral conscious sedation are minimal, some report dry mouth, hiccups, or nausea. Some people may not remember the entire appointment the next day.