Whether you are there for an annual cleaning or a root canal, you may find yourself full of anxiety every time you walk into a dentist's waiting room. If you are one of the 30 to 40 million individuals who suffer from dental anxiety, there is an answer for you: dental sedation. Sedation dentistry, also…
Oral Sedation Side Effects
As you may know, when you undergo dental work, oral surgeons use sedatives to make the process easier. These sedatives have an incredibly relaxing effect, which puts most patients at ease and allows the oral surgeon to do their work. In other cases, a patient may need to be asleep for a portion of the treatment.
What You Need to Know About Oral Sedation
If you are about to go to an oral surgeon's office to have work done, you may have some anxiety when it comes to oral sedation—particularly, its side effects on your health, well-being, judgment and so forth. While oral sedation is typically a safe and valuable tool for patients to tolerate normally painful dental treatments during dental surgery, it can come with some side effects that you should be aware of beforehand so that you can anticipate any effects on your life.
Oral sedation for patients before oral surgery is typically an anti-anxiety medication in pill form taken before arriving at the office. Some typical oral sedation medications include triazolam, diazepam, zaleplon, lorazepam, and hydroxyzine. While their advantage is that patients don't have to deal with needles, whether in their mouth or intravenously, oral sedation does take some planning and timing.
Drowsiness is usually the number one side effect of oral sedation, so patients may be too disabled to drive themselves to an appointment and must arrange for alternative transportation before and after undergoing surgery. With Uber and Lyft being relatively cheap, many patients may opt to leave their vehicles at home and let someone else do the driving. Others may arrange for a spouse or loved one to care for them while they are in a temporarily disabled state.
Another side effect of oral sedation is that it does have an amnestic effect. In other words, patients won't have any memory of what happened once the drug takes effect, the events that occur during the procedure, and what happens after the procedure until the oral sedation wears off. Many patients consider this an advantage—after all, many people fear to go to the dentist's office and do not want to have any recollection of drilling, scraping, suction, and so forth.
Others may feel that losing their volition can be a harrowing experience in and of itself. Again, it is important to arrange for someone to handle your well-being while under the influence of oral sedation. Some oral surgeons will not even perform scheduled surgeries if there is no one to help you.
Mild Side Effects to Take Note of
Oral sedation has some other mild side effects. These include dry mouth, dizziness, headaches, and nausea, among others. Depending on the type of medication that you've been prescribed by your oral surgeon, these side effects will vary, but you should consult your oral surgeon beforehand on what you can do to mitigate these symptoms.
For instance, you may not want to use a headache reliever like aspirin, which may cause excessive bleeding and jeopardize your dental work. Similarly, certain types of beverages, especially grapefruit juice, can prolong the effect of the oral sedation. As always, consult your oral surgeon to discuss all of the possible risks.
What’s the bottom line?
For more oral sedation information or to schedule an appointment with Dennis Baik, DDS, request an appointment in our San Jose dental office here: https://www.ddsbaik.com. Or call us at (408) 676-5321.
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