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San Antonio Sedation Dentistry at Windrest Cosmetic Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a practice used to put patients in a relaxed state during a dental procedure. For some, going to the dentist can cause stress and anxiety.  A bad experience in the past or a dental phobia can lead people to avoid their bi-annual dentist appointment and risk damage to their oral health as a result.

In our San Antonio dental office, we offer both oral and inhalation sedation for anxious patients.

Oral sedation can be given to a patient either the day before treatment or up to 30 minutes before treatment, depending on the severity of anxiety. Although the pills relax the patient, they do not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic may be administered as well.

Inhalation sedation induces relaxation by using a nose mask to administer nitrous oxide (or laughing gas). The gas is used to sedate patients along with a local anesthetic that relieves pain.

San Antonio dentist, Dr. Craig Wright, is licensed by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners to administer both nitrous oxide and oral sedation.

Sedation Dentistry in San Antonio

In conjunction with nitrous oxide, various oral medications, like Halicion, Ativon, and Valium, greatly increase the patient’s comfort, both physically and mentally, while their dental procedure is taking place.

Oral sedation is not intended to render a patient unconscious, but rather to relax them while remaining responsive to verbal commands.

Pre and Post-operative Instructions for Minimal Sedation

Unless specifically directed otherwise, patients must adhere to the following instructions:

  • Following the sedation, a responsible adult must escort the patient home, and a responsible adult should remain with the patient until fully awake.
  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany minors (persons under the age of 18 years of age).
  • No solid food for six hours before the start of the procedure.
  • No opaque liquids for six hours before the start of the procedure (coffee, milk, orange juice, etc.).
  • Clear liquids are allowed up until two hours before the start of the procedure (water, apple or cranberry juice).
  • No food or drink should be had the last two hours before the start of the procedure.
  • Take all medicines as normally scheduled unless specifically directed otherwise by the dentist (if in the last two hours, use a tiny sip of water as necessary).
  • Make every effort to minimize smoking for 12 hours before the start of the procedure.
  • At least one fingernail needs to be available (without polish or artificial nail) the day of the procedure.
  • Shoes should have low or flat heels.

Following the sedation, patients should refrain from driving an automobile, drinking alcohol or engaging in any activity that requires alertness until at least the next day or until the patient is fully recovered from the effects of the sedation drugs. This time frame may vary from patient to patient.  The dentist will discuss the use of narcotic containing pain medications in the immediate postoperative period.

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If you think sedation dentistry is right for you, consult our dentists at Windcrest Cosmetic Dentistry for more information.