I’m planning to schedule an appointment with a sedation dentist to have some work done. I know I need at least three crowns and probably have four or five fillings as well. From what I understand of it, the dentist can do all the work at once this way, but the medications will make me very groggy and unable to drive right after. How long will the medicine stay in my system? Will the sedation dentist allow me to stay in the office and sleep until they wear off? Normally my wife can help with stuff like this but she’s away helping our daughter who just had her first baby.
Don – Little Rock, AR
Congratulations on becoming a grandpa! There’s no telling what your sedation dentist will prescribe unless you talk directly to him. There is a number of possible medications he might use and each one has a different lifespan and affects the body differently. Most people feel groggy for the rest of the day after being medicated, so driving is not allowed on the same day as treatment.
When you choose a sedation dentist, your first appointment will be a consultation to go over the diagnosis and treatment options. No treatment will be performed that day. As part of the consultation, they’ll go over what medications they use and how they’ll affect you. As a general rule, sedation dentists require you to have an adult bring you to the office, take you home, and stay with you for the rest of the day on the day of treatment. There’s a good chance you’ll probably sleep some in the office anyway, but you won’t be able to sleep off the medications and drive later. In fact, most offices suggest that you plan to spend the rest of the day at home; preferably in bed or on the sofa, so you don’t have a fall.
As far as having all the work done at once goes, you may or may not be able to. One of the main benefits is that doctors can accomplish more because you’re relaxed, but if the work is extensive or is in different areas of the mouth, you may still need to come back for multiple appointments.
However, depending on the doctor and the treatments that are necessary, you may also feel comfortable going without medication for some of the quicker visits, such as fillings. If not, then each visit would require you to have a driver and helper for the rest of the day. Your office will go over all your necessary treatment with you and will work with you to develop a plan that’s manageable, so be sure to express any concerns you have about timing and the number of visits during your consultation.
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