Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is a wonderful option for patients who need more than just nitrous oxide, but don’t need or want IV sedation or general anesthesia. It allows many people to be comfortably sedated through an entire dental visit using just a small pill.


What is Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation is a method of conscious sedation where your dentist uses pills to sedate a patient. Most healthy adults are good candidates for oral sedation. For some, comfortable dentistry is as simple as taking one small pill.


What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, we are able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one. There are a number of conscious sedation techniques, but they all have certain things in common. While the goal of general anesthesia is for the patient to sleep, in dentistry it is much more common to use conscious sedation, where the patient is sedated and comfortable, yet still awake. When we at Dental Associates of Delaware use conscious sedation, you don’t really fall asleep, even though sometimes it feels like you did. That’s because sedation feels so relaxing and peaceful that the patient doesn’t even notice the passing of time. Many of the medications used in conscious sedation have an amnesiac effect as well, leaving patients with little or no memory of their dental appointment, and further adding to the feeling that the patient was asleep.


Is Oral Sedation for me?

Oral sedation is wonderful and incredibly effective for most healthy adults. For many, it is the answer they’ve been looking for all their life. Discuss sedation with your dentist if any of the following sounds like you:

You are uncomfortable in the dentist’s office

You are too scared to even call the dentist and make an appointment

You can’t stand the smell and sounds of the dentist’s office

You are delaying treatment you know you need

You are in pain when you eat, but too anxious about the dentist to take care of it

You have trouble getting numb – the anesthetic doesn’t seem to work on you

You are afraid to smile

You are concerned about how many dental appointments you’ll need

You are looking for a way to have the work of several appointments done in just one or two

You remember bad experiences with a dentist in your past

You need your wisdom teeth removed

You have sensitive teeth

You have a strong gag reflex, especially when the dentist is working in your mouth

You have trouble with jaw soreness when you have to keep your mouth open

You have back or neck pain when you sit in a dental chair

You are afraid of needles

What can I expect from Oral Sedation?

There are many different medications and sedation techniques, so it is best to get specifics from the dentists at our Brandywine office or Hockessin office. Generally, you will be given a prescription for a pill to take before your appointment. Since this is sedative medication, you will need a companion to drive you to the appointment. Once you arrive, we will begin monitoring your vital signs, including heart rate and blood pressure, to make sure that you stay completely safe through the procedure. Our dentists will then assess your level of sedation, and ask how you feel. The dentistry will all be performed while you are relaxed and totally comfortable. When it is safe for you to travel, your companion will take you home, and then you will rest comfortably for the rest of the day.


Is Oral Sedation safe?

While all methods of sedation are very safe, the history of oral sedation has been especially safe as well as very effective. Our dentists at Dental Associates of Delaware use very common medications that are extremely safe and widely prescribed. Your vital signs will be constantly monitored from the moment you arrive at the office through the appointment, and until we are certain you are ready to leave. In fact, they and their whole dental team are highly trained in safety and emergency procedures, making the dentist office one of the safest places you can be!