I take medication for stress from some traumatic events I experienced during childhood. During the past 3 years, I have been able to cope with therapy and medication. Situations that can potentially make me nervous are heightened because I am predisposed to anxiety. Dental appointments are a real challenge for me. I manage to get through the x-rays and exams. Now I need a root canal and crown and the thought of it is making me nauseous. My dentist mentioned sedation. The office has a list of my current medications. Although he says everything will be okay, I am afraid that there might be a conflict between the sedation from the dentist and my PTSD medication. Should I be concerned? – Jen
Jen – If you are taking any medication, you should always be concerned about how it will interact with other medications. The mild anti-anxiety medication given for sedation dentistry is typically compatible with most medication. If your dentist has a list of your current medications, he can double-check for contraindications and you receive a compatible medication.
Sedation dentistry helps you relax so you won’t be focused on what’s happening during your dental appointment. Many patients find that it also dulls their sensitivity to pain.
When you speak with your dentist again, talk to him about your anxiety disorder. Let him know your concerns about sedation dentistry, as well as what can be done to increase your comfort level during the appointment. Some patients are more relaxed when they are notified before a dentist or a staff member enters the room, instead of being quietly approached from behind.
Communication through each step of the treatment process can also help. It might be helpful if you are told in advance what will happen during treatment and why, as well as what you can expect in terms of sounds and sensations.
Another way to increase your comfort level during sedation dentistry is to ask your dentist the name of the medication you will be given to help you relax. Speak with your medical doctor or pharmacist about the medication and any possible contraindication with your current medication. You can also do your own research on any contraindications with the medication.
Best wishes for an anxiety-free dental appointment and a healthy smile.
This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.