Sedation Dentistry: How To Be Good To Yourself Before And After Treatment

Sedation dentistry is all about being good to yourself. If you have anxiety or embarrassment over dental visits, be kind to yourself by getting treatment at an office that practices sedation dentistry. Here, the staff will provide you with prescriptions or in-office anesthesia. Their aim is to either calm you down significantly or put you to sleep during procedures so your anxiety disappears.

Being good to yourself before and after undergoing sedation at the dentist's office is the key to a successful sedation outcome. Here's what you should know:

Before: prior to your procedure, be completely honest with dental staff.

You must tell your dentist or oral surgeon about all of your health issues, allergies, and current medications to be completely safe. Sedation medicines will work differently depending on the patient, so the more your dentist knows about your unique physical situation, the better they can tailor a successful plan to reduce your fear and pain.

You may be prescribed a pre-visit anti-anxiety medication that you are to take before coming into the dental office for treatment. Some of these drugs will not work when you're taking other medicines. If this is the case with your prescriptions, you may have to adjust your medications in order for the sedation meds to work, or you may have to seek another solution such as IV medication in the office.

If you have a condition such as MS, heart disease, or lung disease, you may not be the best candidate for in-office IV sedation with nitrous oxide. This drug can depress breathing, so it poses a hazard to those whose breathing may already be compromised. Pregnancy, allergies, and other physical issues may also restrict the types of drugs your dentist may administer to you safely. Be honest and clear with your dentist about your health to protect yourself.

After: enlist a loved one's help for a short while after dental sedation.

You'll definitely need transportation from the dentist's office if you plan to be sedated during your procedure. Some of the drugs that dentists use have short-lived after effects, but some drugs won't wear off for many hours. You won't be a safe driver under their influence.

You'd be smart to enlist a helper for a day or so after your dental procedure. Even though you should be able to get up and about the day after most oral surgeries, the drugs and the procedures may leave you feeling dizzy, weak, or slightly disoriented. You also may be in a moderate degree of pain depending on how extensive your treatment was.

Having a friend or family member close by to monitor you will ensure you take your antibiotics and pain medicines as directed. They will help you read and understand your after-care instructions. Your helper can also assist with household tasks, pet care, and fielding phone calls while you and your mouth heal. Be good to yourself and ask for post-dental-treatment help if you know you'll need it.

Your dentist wants you to feel safe, comfortable, and free from pain while you're in their office. Help them take care of you by taking good care of yourself before and after your dental visit.