Meg from San Jose, CA asks:
I have been seeing a lot of signs for sedation dentists. It sounds great because going to the dentist freaks me out. I have been going to the same dentist since I was a teenager and he doesn’t do sedation dentistry. Now I need to have some work done. Couldn’t I just take a sleeping pill, go to my regular dentist and have it do the same thing ?
Good question. On the surface, it does appear that sedation dentistry is where you go and sleep through your visit and return home when it’s done. What really happens is that you are given a medication that’s not intended to make you sleep, but to make you very comfortable. Typically you are relaxed but still alert enough to follow instructions from the dentist. Sometimes people are so relaxed that they can hardly remember anything about the treatment when it is done.
Here are some things to know about sedation dentists.
- They have received extra training to do sedation.
- They are familiar with the medication you receive and not only monitor your body’s behavior with it, but know what to do in an emergency.
- Your vitals are monitored the whole time.
So, while it seems like an easy answer to just take a sleeping pill for your dental appointment, it would be best to discuss this with your doctor before. Most likely the answer will be no. Your safety and health are the staff’s top priority. There may be an issue if you can’t follow instructions because you are completely asleep. They will want to verify that there would be no reactions between any medication that they may give you and what you are taking. Also, they are prepared for typical dental emergencies. Allowing additional medicine and knowing how to respond if your body reacts poorly may not be something your dentist is comfortable with or prepared for.
It may be better to look for a sedation dentist in your area that will be able to do your dental work in a comfortable way while keeping you safe.
You may be interested in more about affordable dentistry.
This post is sponsored by Enfield dentist Dr. William Cummiskey at Generations Dental Care.