Because anywhere from 50-80% of adults in the United States experience some level of dental anxiety, a branch of oral health care has developed called oral sedation, which helps people with anxiety relax while they’re undergoing dental treatment.
This sedation usually comes in the form of a medication that induces a feeling of calm and relaxation while reducing your fear and anxiety. Oral sedation works well in many patients, but it isn’t recommended for patients who have certain health conditions.
Here’s a look at a few conditions that should cause you to avoid oral sedation, brought to you by the team at Portrait Dental. If you have questions about any of these, you should consult with your own doctor.
Sedation medications have a depressing effect on your respiratory system, which means they can cause severe problems with your body’s ability to breathe normally. If you have a respiratory condition, including asthma, sleep apnea, COPD, bronchitis, and more, discuss it with your dentist before agreeing to oral sedation.
Kidney and liver disease
If you have a kidney or liver disease, your body’s ability to metabolize drugs is already compromised, which means your body could overreact or underreact to sedation medications.
Thyroid and adrenal disorders
If you’re already dealing with your body’s abnormal response to stress and an altered metabolism, the effect of sedation will be unpredictable. You should also check with your doctor before getting sedation if you have any disorder that originates in the endocrine system.
If you are pregnant, you also may not be a good candidate for sedation because of the different metabolic demands your baby is making on your body.
Taking medications or drugs
If you are taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, your body has already adapted to how it responds to these kinds of medications, so its response to additional calming medications is unpredictable. You should also avoid sedation if you’re taking any type of recreational drug — you don’t know what kind of interaction the medication and the drug will cause.
If you have any of these conditions and are anxious about a dental visit, talk to your dentist ahead of time about ways you can stay calm and reduce anxiety during your visit. If you live in the Houston area, Dr. Minh Nguyen and the team at Portrait Dental would love to help you through this process. Just call the office, or fill out the online appointment request form, and we’ll be in touch!