An Introduction to Oral Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Jeffrey Tocci, owner of Tocci Dental Associates in Massachusetts, offers conscious sedation dentistry to his patients. With this option, Dr. Jeffrey Tocci is able to perform complex treatments in a minimal number of visits.

For people who experience fear and anxiety at the thought of going to the dentist, sedation dentistry can offer peace of mind as well as the opportunity for a healthy smile. One common form of sedation dentistry is oral sedation, in which the patient ingests a pill that causes drowsiness. Often consisting of triazolam (which is in the diazepam family), the pill is taken approximately an hour prior to the dental procedure and causes the patient to relax for five or six hours at a time, sometimes to the degree that the patient falls asleep in the chair. The sleep is typically not deep and the dentist can usually arouse the patient easily.

Dentists can adjust the sedation dose to achieve minimal or moderate sedation. Patients are more likely to remain fully awake and aware during minimal sedation, though they are fully relaxed. Those who undergo moderate sedation in the dentist’s office typically have no memory of the experience. As a result, sedation can be extremely comforting for anxious patients as well as for those who need extensive dental work, have sensitive teeth, or experience difficulty remaining still while undergoing dental work.

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