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Visiting the dentist tends to be one of the most common phobias, causing many people severe anxiety and stress. This often causes patients to forego necessary treatment in order to avoid a visit to their dentist. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable and distressed at the thought of having your teeth worked on, you should know that a safe, comfortable relaxation method exists.
If you fear dental appointments, call for an evaluation so that we can determine if oral conscious sedation is an option for you based on your medical history and current medications. If you’re a good candidate for OCS, we will select an appropriate anti-anxiety drug for you to take prior to your appointment. Your anxiety level will help determine the drug, dosage and desired consciousness level during the appointment.
These medications are safe and widely prescribed to diminish anxiety and help patients relax. Some patients become so relaxed they drift off into a restful sleep during the procedure. Throughout your appointment, we will closely monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety.
When you elect oral sedation, you must have a responsible adult who can drive you to and from your appointment and spend some time with you after the appointment until the sedative wears off completely.
Patients choose OCS for a variety of reasons, including past experience of severe anxiety and fear when faced with dental instruments, delay of needed dental treatment because of fear, trouble feeling numb after receiving local anesthetic, and sometimes because of other health issues such as neck or back problems that prohibit resting comfortably in the dental chair.
The anti-anxiety medications used to achieve OCS have been prescribed and studied for years, so potential side effects are widely documented. OCS drugs are generally safe for most patients and have a low incidence of side effects, which tend to be minor.
Typically, patients who receive OCS experience retrograde amnesia, and recall little to nothing about the dental procedure. They also may have decreased post-operative soreness, dry mouth, and occasional hiccups.