As many as 40% of adults or more have significant fear of going to the dentist. Morgan Dental Care, serving the Portland Maine areas, offers several different choices in sedation dentistry. We are trained sedation dentists. Oral Sedation, or Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS) is a simple and effective way to handle these fears and make it possible for anxious or fearful people to get their dental care done comfortably. And since it is done with oral medications, you just swallow a pill; you won’t have to have an injection to be sedated.
Who is a candidate for Oral Sedation Dentistry?
- Has put off dental care due to fear or anxiety
- Has a strong gag reflex
- Has a fear of needles
- Does not get numb with traditional numbing techniques
- Has put off needed dental treatment because of the perceived number of visits that would be needed
- Has sensitive teeth
- Hates sitting in one place for a long time
- Has multiple and varied dental treatment needs
- Has difficulty opening and holding their mouth open for long periods of time
What to Expect with Oral Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedatives relax you and make you feel more calm. While many, if not most, people who are sedated via OCS get relaxed enough to fall asleep during the dental visit, the object of conscious sedation is relaxation, not sleep. As long as your fear and anxiety are controlled, the sedative is doing its job. Also, the medications we use most often cause temporary amnesia, so you may not remember the dental work being done or much of your time in the office. And because of the amnesia effect, you also won’t be aware of how long you have been there, so even an appointment several hours long won’t seem long.
Is Oral Sedation Dentistry safe?
A strong case can be made that an anxious dental patient is much safer sedated than simply undergoing treatment without any medication other than the usual local anesthetic. The reason is that the anxiety itself is more likely to cause complications than the proper use of a sedative.
The most common sedative medications used are in the family of drugs called Benzodiazepines. They have an extremely wide margin of safety. And by controlling the conditions under which you will take them, the optimal effect can be reached with the least amount of the drugs for your dentist exam.
During the time you are sedated, your vital signs will be monitored, so we would know immediately if there is a change in your status. Yet, you are no more likely (perhaps less likely) to have a medical emergency when you are sedated than when you are not. We routinely monitor blood pressure, pulse and blood Oxygen saturation during any sedation visit.
How do I know if oral sedation will work for me?
Since each individual needs a different level of sedation to be comfortable and different doses of a medication to get them to that level, we will administer the drug gradually until the appropriate level of sedation is reached. Then if the appointment is longer than the effect of the drug lasts, we will give you more periodically during your visit to keep you sedated at the proper level.
Prior to sedating you, we will research any medications you are taking to avoid any possible adverse interaction between the sedatives and the medications you are taking. On occasion, we might ask that you stop taking one or more of your regular medications for the day of your sedation visit.
Contact Morgan Dental Care today to learn more about oral sedation dentistry and schedule a no cost evaluation or an appointment, call (207) 839-2655.