Sedation Dentistry FAQs

At Boulder County Smiles, we want you to feel comfortable with the idea of dental sedation. Here are some common questions we hear from our patients:

Is dental sedation safe?

Yes, dental sedation is safe when administered by a trained sedation dentist like Dr. West in Lafayette CO. We can give you a muscle relaxant pill that helps your body relax, but you won’t be under anesthesia. Light conscious sedation medication does not have the same risks of general anesthesia.

Our trained staff carefully monitors you throughout the procedure, and we never leave you alone. We do want you to be aware that the medication can become habit-forming if taken regularly for several weeks, but you only need to take the pill during an appointment!

As a sedation dentist near Boulder, Dr. West administers medication carefully and as recommended in the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) protocols.

What kind of medicine is used in dental sedation?

Our oral conscious sedation medications are Benzodiazepine drugs such as Triazolam or Diazepam (also known as Valium). Both of these medications are muscle relaxants that often cause a mild amnesia, so you won’t remember much about the dental procedure. Lorazepam is also used for patients with acute dental phobia because it produces a strong amnesia effect.

Will I sleep through the dental procedure?

Maybe. Some people are so relaxed that they can’t help falling asleep, and others stay awake but remain in a heavily relaxed state. Under light conscious sedation, we can still communicate with you if needed, unlike under general anesthesia.

Can I drive myself home from the appointment after I’ve had dental sedation?

Although the effects of oral dental sedation are mostly worn off by the end of your visit, you still shouldn’t drive. You should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home because the sedatives can interfere with your ability to drive safely.

If I am pregnant, can I still have dental sedation?

No, Diazepam is not recommended when you are pregnant because the drug has been associated with increased risk of cleft palate and respiratory problems in infants, particularly in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and worried about having a dental visit without sedatives, talk to Dr. West about your options.

As a sleep dentist, he works with our team in Lafayette CO to do everything possible to make you comfortable and relaxed. We also use music therapy and acupressure to help calm and relax our patients, which may be very helpful during pregnancy.

What are the side effects of dental sedation?

Oral sedation can make you feel drowsy, a good reason not to drive, and may give you dry mouth as well. Some of the effects of Benzodiazepines may take several hours to wear off, so we encourage most patients not to return to work following dental sedation.

What are Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?

Did you know that one in four Americans has dental anxiety or dental phobia? People who experience fear in connection with visiting the dentist may have dental phobia or dental anxiety. You may know a lot of people with this condition, whether it’s your child, your spouse, or a parent.

In general, dental anxiety is a fear of visiting the dentist. This fear can stem from anticipation of pain, past experiences, or the sights and sounds that are present at a dental office. Dental phobia is an extreme version of dental anxiety.

Some patients with dental phobias often suffer in silence, upset and stressed because of a fear that a trip to the dentist’s office will be extremely painful or otherwise upsetting. Patients with dental phobias often neglect proper dental care, which negatively impacts their health.

If any of these descriptions sound like you, come see Boulder sleep dentist Dr. Gordon West. At Boulder County Smiles, we know how to help you have a comfortable, pleasant dental experience.

How can I get help for my dental phobia?

Our sedation dentist practice in Lafayette CO is trained to help anxious patients relax during their visit and get the healthy smiles they need. Call today to set up your appointment with dental sedation.

Ask Your Questions at Boulder County Smiles!

Did we answer your question on this page? If not, please call our office! We are happy to answer any further questions you have.

For more information about our general and cosmetic dental services, visit our main Boulder dentist website!