How much control will I have with sedation dentistry?

I was told it’s time for a crown. But I get freaked out about going to the dentist and ended up avoiding it for the last year. I hate going in even for routine care. So the last time when I was in, they were recommending I consider sedation dentistry. But I have some apprehensions with that because I have some mobility issues and have to use a walker or can to get around. I also deal with embarrassing issue like incontinence. So how much control will I have of my body during sedation dentistry? I don’t want to wee in my pants at the dentist, the thought mortifies me. I can’t even bring myself to discuss it with the dentist because I’m so embarrassed. I’m so nervous about what would happen while I’m under.  Any advice?

– Betty in Rhode Island

Even though you are dreading the conversation, your dentist is a professional and you really shouldn’t be embarrassed. He has seen and heard it all. So you need to discuss your concerns with him or her in order to receive the best care. You are likely not the first patient that has had special health concerns that required extra attention during dental care.

Sedation dentistry is likely still an option for your dental crown, yet it sounds like you need some clarification. You mention being put under. Sedation dentistry is not the same thing as general anesthesia like you get at the hospital. You are still conscious and your protective reflexes like coughing and breathing are fully functional. As far as your issues with your bladder, the dentist will need to prepare for that possibility because you may not realize or remember much of the appointment from the medication. So you don’t necessarily have control of your limbs or will have little to no memory of what took place during the visit.

You will also need to have someone join you at the appointment. Not only will you need someone to drive you home, but in your case, it sounds like you may need someone to help you to and from the bathroom. Bring some extra clothing and hygiene items as a precaution to address the incontinence. The office should also have a wheel chair to assist with your mobility issues. It would be wise to have the individual help you at home for the day as well. This will help to ensure your safety in getting around until the medication wares off.

So sounds like the first thing to do is have a consultation with your dentist informing them of your health concerns. Then, together you can determine is sedation dentistry is right for you.

This post is sponsored by Atlanta cosmetic dentist Flax Dental.

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Posted in: Sedation Dentistry

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