Oral Sedation

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Drs. Heller, Beckman, Thousand, and Hyer want you to become more familiar with different sedation options that we provide at Periodontal Associates during surgeries.

What is sedation?

The definition of sedation is the administration of a sedative drug to produce a state of calm or sleep. You may be familiar with this if you’ve ever had a major or minor surgery- one minute you are awake and are aware of what is going on, the next minute you are waking up wondering where the heck you are.

There are several forms of sedation- minimal, moderate, and deep. We can perform both minimal and moderate sedation at Periodontal Associates. (Deep sedation can be provided by a nurse anesthetist or dental anesthesiologist that can come to our office). Please read our blog posts on each of these for more information and to discover which form of sedation is right for you.

Oral sedation (Halcion)

Minimal sedation includes oral sedation (a pill), such as Halcion/Triazolam. It can be very effective to reduce anxiety and stress, but it has a slightly different effect on everyone. Some people are sawing logs after they take it, others don’t feel it quite as much.

Pros of oral sedation

  • It’s very safe and has minimal drug interactions
  • It can be effective for many people
  • It’s generally less expensive
  • Best for mild dental anxiety (for moderate or severe dental anxiety, IV sedation is recommended).

Cons of oral sedation

  • It takes about 1 hour to produce an effect
  • It is harder to taper exactly to each individual. Some people need more, and with the slow onset you essentially “get what you get”.
  • For patients taking anti-anxiety or sleep medication, their tolerance can be higher to this medication.
  • You generally feel the sedation for the rest of the day (although this results in very nice naps).
  • Sometimes nitrous gas is needed to amplify the effect.

Instructions for oral sedation:

  • You will need a prescription in advance of the procedure in order to pick up this medication. Make sure you either 1) have a paper prescription from the office or 2) a treatment coordinator from Periodontal Associates to has called it in for you to pick up.
  • Take the medication ONE HOUR before the procedure is scheduled to start
  • You must have a driver to and from the procedure, please bring your escort’s name and phone number.
  • Do not plan to go back to work, make any legal decisions, or drive for the rest of the day!

Drs. Heller, Beckman, Thousand, and Hyer recommend sedation to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your procedure at Periodontal Associates. Make sure to talk to your periodontist prior to the sedation/procedure if you have any questions. We are here for you for all of your dental needs and service Denver, Aurora, and all of the surrounding areas. You can reach us at 303-755-4500. We look forward to hearing from you!