Oral conscious sedation, sometimes known as relaxation dentistry, is a method which helps some patients more easily cope with having dental work done by reducing the mild to moderate anxiety sometimes associated with dental appointments.
Unlike general anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond, patients under oral conscious sedation are able to breathe on their own, to speak and respond to requests of others. Adults will typically self-administer a small pill before their appointments, while there is a liquid medication available for children.
Patients who benefit from oral conscious sedation include those who:
* Have fear, stress, and anxiety about going to the dentist
* Have a fear of needles
* Have a history of bad dental experiences
* Have difficulty being numbed with local anesthesia
* Have a severe gag reflex
* Suffer from painful or sensitive teeth
* Have difficulty controlling movement from conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Parkinsons Disease
* Want to have a lot of dental work done during a single, longer appointment
The benefits of oral conscious sedation include the ease of administration (by swallowing a small pill at home). It is safe and easy to monitor, it works well for most people, and it is low cost. Disadvantages are that someone is needed to transport the patient to and from the dentists office (patients may not drive for 24 hours after taking oral conscious sedation medication).
To plan the best treatment for you, your dentist will need a complete medical history including all medical conditions and medications the patient is taking. He or she will also need to know about any allergic reactions the patient has had to any medication(s).
When opting for oral conscious sedation, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours before your appointment. Then one hour before your appointment, you will take an oral medication. A friend or relative will be needed to bring the patient to and from the office as the medication will make him (her) too groggy to drive for 24 hours after taking the medication.
Once seated in the chair, the conscious orally sedated patient will be assessed as to how deep the sedation is and the dosage will be adjusted if necessary. For most procedures, it will also be necessary to numb the mouth, since the oral sedative does not anesthetize the mouth or teeth, but the oral medication that was already taken will make this procedure comfortable.
Pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels will be constantly monitored for the patients safety during any procedure in which oral conscious sedation is used. Patients often feel very comfortable and relaxed and may even sleep with no anxiety or pain. Though responding easily to touch and requests, many patients report that they do not remember the procedure when it is over.
After the procedure, the patients friend or relative will take him or her home to relax for the rest of the day. Oral conscious sedation has made dentistry much easier for many patients who once waited too long between appointments because of anxiety.
Cosmetic implant dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services.