In this part of our Sedation Series at Poulos & Somers, we’ll be taking a look at another one of the most common types of sedation used at the dental office; oral conscious sedation. This type of sedation is deeper than nitrous oxide, but does not provide the same level of sedation as IV sedation.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation? 

Oral conscious sedation consists of a pill-based sedative and anti-anxiety medication. There are many different drugs that may be used, depending on the patient. Triazolam (Halcion) diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) are all commonly used to sedate patients during dental appointments. If you have any reactions or allergies to common sedative drugs, you will need to discuss them with your care team at Poulos & Somers before you can be sedated.

How Is Oral Conscious Sedation Administered?

As the name implies, oral conscious sedation is administered in a pill-based form, whether it be Valium, Ativan, or Halcion. You’ll take a few pills about an hour before your appointment. In most cases, your sedatives will begin to metabolize within 30-60 minutes of taking them. When you’ve been sufficiently sedated, your dental procedure will begin. 

What Does Oral Conscious Sedation Feel Like?

Curious about what oral conscious sedation feels like? Once the sedative begins to take effect and is metabolized into your system, you’ll start to feel very drowsy and groggy. You may begin to feel less aware of your surroundings, and a bit confused about what is happening around you.

During your procedure, you may fall asleep, but you will still be conscious and can be awakened and respond to verbal commands. You likely will have “anterograde amnesia,” which means you’ll forget most or all of what happens throughout your dental procedure. 

After your procedure, you will likely feel confused and sluggish as the sedative begins to wear off. Some patients experience side effects like nausea, dry mouth, blurry vision, or difficulty concentrating. If present, these side effects will start to fade shortly, and should be completely gone within 4-6 hours of your appointment.

Do I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for My Appointment?

Usually, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything for about 6 hours prior to your appointment at Poulos & Somers. However, our dentists may provide you with alternative instructions. Make sure you follow them to ensure your oral conscious sedation has the intended effect.

Beyond this, you will need to arrange transportation to and from our office. You will not be able to drive yourself home after the procedure, and should not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 4-6 hours after your surgery. In addition, you likely will not be able to get back to your day-to-day routine or go back to work after your appointment, so plan accordingly.

After your procedure, we will need to release you into the care of a responsible adult who can take you home, so be sure to make appropriate arrangements. If you come to our office for your appointment and do not bring someone into whose care we can release you after your surgery, your treatment will be delayed, postponed or canceled. 

Know Your Sedation Options at Poulos & Somers – Schedule an Appointment Today!

If you are interested in sedation during your consultation at Poulos & Somers, oral conscious sedation by means of Valium, Halcion or Ativan may be right for you. To learn more about your options and what’s the best choice for your procedure, contact our office at (303) 832-4867, or stop by in person at 700 Broadway, Suite 1135, Denver, CO 80203. We’re always accepting new patients.