Sedation Dentistry Side Effects

Anxiety over dental treatment is a common problem for patients of all ages. Our dental health directly affects our overall health so even if you suffer from dental anxiety, it is important to see your dentist on a regular basis and endure restorative treatment as needed. Fortunately, there are a number of methods available to patients to combat anxiety during dental appointments.

Oral sedation is one of the best ways for dentists to ease their patient’s nerves. Sedation Dentistry is usually administered in pill form with a benzodiazepine such as Valium, Xanax, Lorazepam, or Diazepam. Oral sedation keeps the patient conscious and awake but allows them to stay calm and relaxes their muscles and reflexes. It is used in conjunction with a local anesthetic at the areas being treated and is administered about 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

If your dental office does not keep medication on hand, they will give you a prescription for a dose or two for you to fill at your pharmacy before your appointment. Sedation is a safe and effective way to allow patients to receive dental treatment which for some, may include a simple routine cleaning.


What are the side effects of dental sedation?

As you may expect, there are a few side effects involved with sedation. Some side effects you may expect to experience include:
* Drowsiness: Oral sedation keeps the patient awake during treatment while keeping them calm and relaxed but as the medication begins to wear off, the patient may experience a bit of drowsiness. Patients should arrange for transportation home after their dental appointment to avoid any risk of an accident while driving or taking public transportation.
* Dry mouth: Patients may experience cotton mouth after sedation but dry mouth usually resolves on its own within a few hours.
* Brain fog: Sedation allows patients to successfully endure preventative and restorative treatment while having no memory of the treatment itself. Some patients can expect to experience a little brain fog as their sedation wears off but this will also resolve on its own within a few hours.
* Headache: A mild headache can also be expected after sedation but this too will subside after a few hours or can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Conscious oral sedation is a great way for patients to tolerate necessary dental procedures with minor side effects and is worth the benefits of treatment. Even if you cannot endure a routine dental cleaning, it is important to ask your dentist about anxiety medication so that you are able to receive necessary treatment to keep your smile, and overall body, healthy.

Without routine preventative treatment, patients are susceptible to developing periodontal disease which can lead to more severe issues such as gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss. If you have experienced a traumatic dental appointment or have dental anxiety, speak with your dentist to see if some type of sedation may be right for you.

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