If you’re expecting to have a dental procedure performed and think you’ll want sedation dentistry to feel calm and relaxed in the dentist’s chair, there are a few things you should mention to your Houston dentist to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.
Sedation dentistry on its own is very safe, but some complications can arise for patient who take certain medications or have particular medical issues.
Once your dentist is aware of your medical history and any current medication, they can administer the right sedation for you.
Important Things to Mention and Know Before Sedation
Your dentist should generally be aware of your medical history, but there are a few things you should let them know specifically about.
- Any medical conditions you are currently being treated for
- Any and all medications, including over the counter, supplements, vitamins, and remedies you are taking or using.Some herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort and Kava Kava can affect the effectiveness of sedation, but by adjusting the sedation dosage, the dentist can compensate for it.
- Let your dentist know if you drink alcohol or smoke. Both of these habits can reduce the effectiveness of sedation, but it can be compensated for with increased dosages.
- Don’t eat or drink anything with grapefruit in it at least 72 hours before your appointment.Grapefruit has certain enzymes that affect your body’s ability to metabolize the sedation agents, making it far less effective.
Administering the Best Sedation
Sedation dentistry can be administered by a few different methods.
Most people are familiar with nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. This method involves breathing in a safe gas that is mixed with oxygen through the patient’s nose.
For more invasive procedures, a stronger IV sedative may be used. This sedation method can put patients to sleep if it’s needed, but most times the dosage isn’t high enough to do that.
Some patients may not need a lot of sedation and can prepare for an appointment at home using oral sedation.
Oral sedatives are a pill or tablet that is either swallowed or dissolved under the tongue. Dissolving the medicine under the tongue helps it enter the bloodstream quicker, making it more effective.
An oral sedative is great for patients who have a fear of needles or want to feel relaxed before they even get in the dentist’s chair.