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Oral Conscious Sedation: Take the Fear Out of Dentistry

Woman doing yoga on beachAmong the most common of phobias, visiting the dentist causes many people severe anxiety and stress. Often, fearful patients forego necessary dental care to avoid a visit to their dentist. If you find yourself feeling panicky at the thought of having your teeth worked on, you should know that a safe, comfortable relaxation method exists. Oral conscious sedation alleviates anxiety so you can face dental appointments with confidence.

Contact Delmarva Sedation Dentistry today if you’d like to learn more from our team or if you’re ready to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Edward Dougherty. We welcome new patients from Ocean City, MD and all over the Delmarva Peninsula.

Why Does Oral Conscious Sedation Entail?

If you’re a good candidate for oral conscious sedation, Dr. Dougherty will select an appropriate anti-anxiety or sedative drug for you to take at a pre-determined time before your appointment. These safe, widely-prescribed drugs greatly diminish anxiety and help patients relax.

Your anxiety level will help Dr. Dougherty determine your dosage, which in turn will determine your consciousness level during the appointment. Some patients become so relaxed they drift off into a restful sleep during their dental procedure. Throughout your appointment, we will closely monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety. When you choose oral conscious sedation, you must have a responsible adult who can drive you to and from your appointment and spend some time with you afterward until the sedative wears off completely.

Why Choose Oral Conscious Sedation?

In general, patients choose oral sedation if they:

  • experience severe anxiety and fear when faced with dental instruments
  • put off important dental treatment because of fear
  • have a sensitive gag reflex
  • have trouble feeling numb after receiving local anesthetic
  • cannot rest comfortably in a dentist’s exam chair due to neck or back problems

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

The anti-anxiety medications used for oral conscious sedation have been prescribed and studied for years, so the potential side effects are widely documented. These drugs are generally safe for most patients and have a low incidence of side effects (which tend to be minor).

Typically, patients who receive oral sedation experience:

  • Retrograde amnesia, in which they recall little to nothing about the dental procedure
  • Decreased post-operative soreness
  • Dry mouth
  • A very small percentage of patients may temporarily have hiccups after using oral conscious sedation drugs.