Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Is dental sedation safe?

Yes, dental sedation is safe when performed by a trained sedation dentist like Dr. West in Lafayette CO. You will take a muscle relaxant pill that will cause you to relax, but you won’t be under anesthesia. Oral light conscious sedation medication doesn’t have the same risks of general anesthesia. You will be carefully monitored by our trained staff during the entire procedure, and won’t be left alone. The only risk with this type of medicine is that it can be habit forming if taken regularly for several weeks, but naturally you won’t be in here that often! As a sedation dentist in near Boulder, Dr. West administers medication carefully as recommended in the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) protocols.

What kind of medicine is used in dental sedation?

You will be given a pill to take, which will be a Benzodiazepine drug such as Triazolam or Diazepam (also known as Valium). Both of these medicines are muscle relaxants that usually cause a mild amnesia, so you won’t have much memory of the dental procedure. Lorazepam is also used for patients with acute dental phobia, as it produces a strong amnesia effect.

Will I sleep through the dental procedure?

Maybe. Some people are so relaxed they fall asleep, and others stay awake in a very relaxed state. You will be under light conscious sedation, not under general anesthesia. You can still respond as needed to your sedation dentist (sleep dentist) during the procedure.

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

The effects of the muscle relaxant used in dental sedation will have mostly worn off by the end of your visit, but you still shouldn’t drive. You will need to have a friend or family member drive you home, since the sedatives can interfere with your driving ability.

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

No, you cannot take Diazepam when you are pregnant, which 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. As a sleep dentist, he and his team in Lafayette CO will do everything possible to make you comfortable and relaxed. They also use music therapy and acupressure to help calm and relax patients.

What are the side effects of dental sedation?

You will feel drowsy (which is why you shouldn’t drive), and you may have a dry mouth. Some of the effects of Benzodiazepines may take several hours to wear off, so most patients do not return to work following dental sedation.

What is Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia?

People with anxiety and/or fear connected with visiting the dentist may have dental phobia or dental anxiety. One in four Americans has dental anxiety or a dental phobia, so you probably know quite a few people with this condition. Maybe it’s your child, your spouse, or a parent you are caring for. Perhaps, like 25 million other Americans, you have a dental phobia yourself. Those with dental phobias sometimes suffer in silence, or they may be so stressed, anxious, or upset that they fear a dentist cannot treat them properly. If this sounds like you, turn to Boulder sleep dentist Dr. Gordon West. He knows how to help you have a comfortable, relaxing dental experience.

How can I get help for my dental phobia?

Dr. Gordon West’s sedation dentist practice in Lafayette CO near Boulder is trained to help even the most anxious of patients to relax during their visit and get a healthy smile. Call today to set up your appointment and request dental sedation.

For more information about all of our dental services, not just dental sedation, visit our main Boulder dentist website!