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February 16, 2017
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Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann

Thanks to many hilarious viral videos, most people are under the assumption that going through dental sedation results in a hilarious period where you can be duped into thinking the world is undergoing a zombie apocalypse, your race has changed, or that a unicorn has taken you to a new world. While this might be true for procedures that require IV sedation, these extreme reactions are not the norm for what we do here at Mann Family Dental, which is oral sedation. Overall, oral sedation is a very safe procedure that has minimal side effects. Here’s what happens after oral sedation.

How Dental Sedation Works

The most common form of dental sedation for common office appointments is oral sedation. In this method, you will take a pill form of a drug that will help you to relax and feel less pain. In particular, most dentists use medications classified as benzodiazepines. Of these, Valium is the most commonly chosen drug, as it has a longer lasting potency for extensive dental treatments. Other options you might have include midazolam, triazolam, lorazepam, or hydroxyzine. Dr. Mann will review your medical history to determine which medication is best for you.

Dr. Mann will write you a prescription so that you can take the medication before your appointment. This allows the medication enough time to make it through your system. Because the effects of the medication last two to four hours, you will have to have someone drive you to the office and pick you up when you are done.

Side Effects of Oral Sedation

Taking benzodiazepines can result in some interesting side effects, especially when you wake up after your procedure. Perhaps the most startling (and most well known) is retrograde amnesia, in which you won’t remember the events right before and during the procedure. This is actually a huge positive, as it will be like you never even went to the dentist in your head.

Additionally, even after you wake up, these medications will still be in your system helping to relieve any pain or soreness and giving your mouth time to heal. Your mouth may feel a bit dryer than usual, but staying hydrated is usually a great fix for this. Lastly, some people do experience hiccups, but this is only a temporary problem until the drugs begin to wear off.

Rarely, patients can also experience:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Lightheadedness

After the Procedure

Generally, most people don’t fall completely asleep during the procedure. However, they are usually so relaxed that they aren’t completely aware of what’s happening around them. This is helpful for Dr. Mann, as he can still give you verbal commands so he doesn’t have to forcefully open your mouth or move your head.

It is this relaxed and blissful state which is usually the subject of so many YouTube videos. However, it’s important to know that the drugs themselves aren’t causing hallucinations or delusions. Rather, it’s simply a person’s relaxed state of mind that allows them to be more gullible and carefree than they might usually be.

As you can see, oral sedation isn’t nearly the extremely embarrassing procedure it’s made out to be. It’s simply a tool to help you relax and calm down during your dental visit. After oral sedation, you’ll be back to normal in no time. Ready to try oral sedation at your next appointment with Dr. Mann? Call us now to learn more about your options.

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