What is oral sedation?

Oral sedation is a type of sedation dentistry in which you are given a pill to take before your dental appointment to help relieve any anxiety or fear that you may be experiencing. Sometimes you may be given a pill the night before your appointment so you can sleep without worrying and be a little more relaxed in the morning before your appointment. The aim of oral sedation is simply to take your mind of having treatment and help reduce your anxiety giving you a more comfortable experience while the dentist is working on your teeth .

Oral sedatives can also be swallowed whole, crushed, or put under the tongue to dissolve. They are very effective, fairly short lasting and have undergone rigorous tests by the FDA regarding their safety.

Like happy gas, oral sedation takes the edge of treatment but doesn’t mean that injections aren’t needed. You will still need anesthesia if you are having a tooth worked on. Sedatives only make the experience more comfortable as they relieve anxiety and give you a relaxed feeling.

What are the kinds of oral sedation?

Oral sedatives are most often Benzodiazepines, common ones include:

  • Temazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Triazolam
  • Zoldpidem

The strength and kind of oral sedative that your dentist will give you depends on both you, your level of anxiety and the type of treatment that you will have (such as implants or a root canal procedure). Your medical history, and of course, the medications that you’re currently taking may also influence the choice.

How do I know whether oral sedatives are right for me?

sedation-dentistry---oral-sedativesNot all people are suitable to take oral sedatives. If you have had an allergic or adverse reaction then they should be avoided. Certain medical problems may change your ability to absorb the drug and effect it’s effectiveness as well as be a potential source of interaction.

It is important for your dentist to always have a comprehensive and update medical history and be aware of any health issues you are having or have previously had.

These oral sedatives are quite addictive and should be only given to appropriate individuals with a fully disclosed understanding of their effects and risks. Take the recommended dose only as advised by your medical or dental professional

What should I do before my dental appointment?

Your dentist may give you oral sedatives the night before your dental appointment or just an hour before. Make sure to take the pills as prescribed and follow the instructions given by us (when and how to take it). The half life of oral sedatives varies and it can take a number of hours to clear from your system e.g. diazepam can take anything from 20 to 100 hours. Its affect is much more pronounced in some individuals than others, so it is sensible to arrange for someone to drive you to the dentist and take you home as you may feel drowsy and a little uncoordinated after taking oral sedatives.