For those who experience anxiety when they visit the dentist, sedation dentistry can make a huge difference. In some cases, people who would have completely avoided the dentist due to anxiety are able to get the care that they need with sedation. There are several options, including nitrous oxide and oral sedation.
With oral sedation, your dentist writes you a prescription ahead of time. You’ll pick up one pill of a sedative medication from the pharmacy. The medication used is typically Halcion (triazolam), which is in the same class of medications as Valium. About an hour before your appointment time, you’ll swallow the pill. The sedative medication will take effect by the time your appointment begins.
When you get to the dentist, you’ll already be feeling very relaxed. You’ll be drowsy throughout your appointment. (Halcion is sometimes used as a treatment for insomnia, because of its ability to promote sleep.) Some people even fall asleep while the dentist is doing his or her work. However, they usually wake up easily with a gentle tap from the dentist.
In addition, oral sedation is effective at reducing anxiety. In fact, medications in this class are often prescribed by mental health professionals specifically to treat anxiety disorders. This is why Halcion is often chosen as the medication for oral sedation.
The drowsiness caused by the medication lasts for several hours after you take it. Feeling drowsy during your appointment is a good thing, as it helps you to be more comfortable with your dental procedure. However, you’ll still feel drowsy once your appointment is over.
Because the medication lasts for several hours past the end of the appointment, patients who take oral sedation for their dental anxiety are unable to safely drive themselves to and from their appointments. A trusted family member or friend will need to drive you. We don’t recommend that you use a taxi or ridesharing service, because it’s very easy to take advantage of someone in a drowsy state. While most people are trustworthy, it’s best not to be under the care of a stranger while you’re vulnerable. You should ensure that someone you know well and trust will be providing your transportation.
Dr. Mark Caggiano is highly experienced in Seattle sedation dentistry. Many patients seek him out as their dentist so that they can access the benefits of sedation during their dental appointments. Whether you only need sedation during procedures, or you need some help with your anxiety every time you visit the dentist, Dr. Caggiano, “the sedation dentist of Seattle,” can help you. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.