Ask A Dentist: What is Oral Sedation?
Question: “When should one ask for oral sedation? Should I ask for it?”
Answer: “If you are nervous and feel anxious about going to the dentist or receiving needed dental treatment, then you should ask for some type of sedation technique. There are many ways to treat anxiety. Nitrous oxide is convenient and is an easy way to help with anxiety. Some refer to this as laughing gas. As you breathe the gas your anxiety reduces and you tolerate treatment easier. The benefit of nitrous is that it wears off almost immediately after use and you do not need someone to drive you to your appointment.
Often times, your dentist may feel it necessary to combine the nitrous with an anxiety medication that belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. You’ve probably heard of them by names such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. If you will be taking these medications, you are required to have an escort to the office. The escort will wait during the procedure and then you will leave with the escort. You will need to take care of all consent forms and financial arrangements prior to the appointment because this cannot be done while you are on the medication. Usually the prescription is for 3 tablets. One tablet is to be taken the night before the appointment so that you can get a good night’s rest. The second tablet is to be taken 1 hour prior to your dental appointment. The 3rd tablet is to keep with you during your appointment in case you need it. If you do not need it be sure to give it to your dentist so that he may properly dispose of it.
If you feel this would benefit you, then please ask your dentist. We dentists want you to be comfortable and stress free during treatment.”
Our Featured Dentist is James B. Mallory, Jr. DMD
Dr. James Mallory practices at Festival Dental Group and Orthodontics, Arrowhead Dental Group and Orthodontics,EveryKidsDentist @ Arrowhead, Canyon Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics, and EveryKidsDentist @ Canyon in Arizona. He is also a regular contributor to Arizona Health and Living Magazine