At Marion Smile Center, we believe that helping our patients achieve good oral health often requires extra measures. A lot of people – as many as half – are anxious about going to the dentist. For patients who have dental anxiety, we offer many options to help you remain completely relaxed during your dental procedures.
In addition to the below forms of dental sedation, we also offer a Comfort Menu to increase your comfort level even further during your visit with us.
Dr. Mark Marion can prescribe a drug or a combination of drugs to be taken prior to your appointment to help you relax. Typically, we recommend two different prescriptions.
- The first is Valium (diazepam) taken by mouth the night prior to your dental appointment. This is a fast-acting and long-lasting benzodiazepine drug that takes effect in most patients within 15 to 60 minutes after ingestion.
- The second drug is Halcion (triazolam), also taken by mouth. This pill is taken one hour prior to your dental appointment. This drug lasts a much shorter length of time and for that reason is taken closer to the time of the appointment.
Due to the possible side effects of these drugs, you will need a driver for your appointment and are restricted from driving for 24 hours after your appointment. Some patients report drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, etc. Some patients may be prescribed just the triazolam and not the diazepam. Ask Dr. Marion which drugs will work best for you.
Some patients may need something more than the oral sedation noted above to more fully relax during their dental appointment. For these patients, we offer inhaled minimal sedation. While you are in the dental chair, you will breathe nitrous oxide – sometimes also called laughing gas or happy air – which is mixed with oxygen and delivered through a nose piece you wear throughout the dental procedure. With nitrous oxide, you remain awake but will feel relaxed. Because nitrous wears off quickly, you will be able to drive yourself home after the appointment.
For patients undergoing long or complex procedures or those who want a deeper sedation during their visit, we offer moderate intravenous (IV) sedation, also called conscious sedation.
In these cases, an anesthesiologist will work alongside Dr. Marion. The anesthesiologist will insert a needle into a vein in your arm or hand. Then, a sedative drug will be administered intravenously, so it goes to work immediately. Dr. Marion will then numb the area of the mouth being worked on and begin the procedure. Patients choosing IV sedation will lose partial awareness during the procedure but will still be able to respond when a request is made. Most patients report not remembering anything about the procedure once it is over.
For many of our patients, sedation dentistry has been wonderfully effective and allows them to comfortably receive necessary dental treatments.
For more information, see our blog post, Sedation Dentistry: Your Anxiety-Free Dental Care Option