Comfort and Sedation

Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Every year, millions of Americans avoid or delay dental visits due to anxiety, only to face larger and costlier visits later as unaddressed issues worsen. We hear these concerns from patients and we know how to help.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation puts you in a relaxed and comfortable state through the use of orally administered sedative drugs. You simply take a small pill before your appointment that relaxes you for the duration of the treatment.

What does it feel like?

This sedation technique causes you to feel calm and relaxed. You will be conscious and responsive, but will feel sleepy. An advantage of Oral Conscious Sedation is that it has amnesic effects that may cause you to feel that the treatment time passes very quickly. Some patients report that a 2-hour appointment seems like it only took a few minutes.

How fast does it work?

Dr. Chao will ask you to take the prescribed sedative at home before you arrive at your scheduled appointment, so that it has time to take effect by the time your treatment begins. After the appointment, the effects can take several hours to wear off completely. Because of this, you will be required to have a trusted friend or family member escort you to and from the appointment.

How is it administered?

The sedative drug comes in a small, easy-to-swallow pill which you will take at home before your scheduled appointment.

Will I be unconscious?

No. You will be in a relaxed state, but will be conscious and able to respond to verbal instruction throughout the entire duration of the treatment.

Do I need someone with me?

Yes. Because you may need to take a pill before you leave home, someone must accompany you to and from the dentist’s office. You should not take a taxi. You may feel very refreshed upon completion of the treatment, but the effects of the sedation do take some time to completely wear off.

Can I go back to work the same day?

No. To be safe, we recommend that you rest safely for the rest of the day and refrain from physical activities that require coordination, such as driving, operating machinery, climbing stairs or exercising.

When not to take oral sedation medication:

Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist.  You should be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.