Imagine going through a complex dental procedure without recollection of pain, discomfort, or time. Anyone who suffers from dental anxiety or phobia would understand the importance of this.
At Kane and Kerper Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are pleased to inform you that we are certified professionals offering patients safe, effective, and comfortable oral sedation while they’re undergoing a dental procedure.
What Is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation allows patients to comfortably go through a dental procedure without experiencing any pain or discomfort. In oral sedation, the patient is required to take a small pill that produces the effects of relaxation. The patient will remain awake but may experience light sleep during the procedure.
However, the effects of oral sedation last longer; therefore, it is more commonly used in complex dentistry procedures. After receiving oral sedation, driving home with a companion is recommended as the after-effects may last a few hours.
What Are the Benefits of Oral Sedation?
- The procedure takes place when the patient is calm and relaxed.
- The patient will be more comfortable throughout the treatment.
- Full mouth restoration or multiple procedures can take place in the same setting when the patient is orally sedated.
- Patients who are afraid of needles can choose oral sedation to avoid being pricked by a needle.
- The patient will experience less discomfort and pain after the treatment.
Anti-Anxiety Pills – What Are They?
Anti-anxiety pills belong to a family of drugs called “benzodiazepine.” Some examples of such drugs are Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, and Valium. These drugs lower anxiety by decreasing pain receptor activity in the part of the brain that controls anxiety and fear.
Two types of Benzodiazepines
There are two types of benzodiazepine drugs.
1. Anti-Anxiety Drugs
Anti-anxiety drugs induce a state of relaxation and calmness that helps relieve anxiety and allows the patient to relax.
Sedative hypnotics produce a state of calm but cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Sleep induced by sedative-hypnotics is a form of hypnosis.
Some benzodiazepines act as anti-anxiety drugs, others target areas of the brain that cause sleep, and still, others target fear and stress reactions in the brain. Generally, higher doses of benzodiazepines are used for sedation and to induce sleep, whereas lower doses reduce the sense of fear and anxiety without causing drowsiness or sedation.
Note that benzodiazepines also act as central nervous system depressants and must not be mixed with other depressants that affect the brain’s activity, such as alcohol. Oral sedation must always be administered by a certified professional. An overdose of pill-based sedation may lower blood pressure or breathing, which may cause coma or death.
When Should You Not Take Benzodiazepines?
Certain benzodiazepines have adverse effects on the heart and the liver. Before choosing oral sedation, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check for drug interactions with existing medications, known allergies, respiratory diseases, glaucomas, liver or kidney function problems, chronic bronchitis, depression/psychosis, or any heart diseases.
Always inform the dentist about any existing health conditions, pregnancy, or medications that you may be taking.