Are you dentally anxious but feel like conscious sedation is a bit too much?
Premedication may be suitable for you.
See below for more information.
Premedication is a term that refers to taking a prescribed medication before a treatment or procedure. Most commonly used for dental treatment, this is a mild sedative tablet(s) that your doctor or dentist prescribes to help you feel calmer and more relaxed during your planned dental visit.
It is important to note that premedication is not a form of conscious sedation, it is generally suitable for patients who have mild anxiety and each individual's needs are assessed before prescribing any medication.
The most common premedications offered by dentists are 'Diazepam' or 'Temazepam'. Your dentist will decide which is most appropriate for you based on your personal needs and health status. Your dentist will also check that these drugs do not interact strongly with any of your co-existing medications before they are prescribed.
If you have taken either of these medications before and had a negative side effect or allergic reaction, please inform your dentist straight away. Some individuals are prescribed premedications by their Doctor for other health reasons such as insomnia or a fear of flying. Please do not self-prescribe or take additional tablets beyond what your dentist has prescribed and advised for your dental procedure.
The tablets have a varied effect on each individual. You may feel less anxious, drowsy or tired. You will be alert enough to walk, talk and be cooperative after taking the tablet. Some individuals who may have been prescribed similar medications for a medical condition may develop a 'tolerance', so the drug may be less effective.
If premedication is not sufficient to help you relax, you may wish to explore options of conscious dental sedation. Options include inhalation sedation, intravenous sedation or oral sedation. These options will provide a more profound sedative effect than a pre-med but can only be provided by a team trained to administer dental sedation under special requirements. If you have questions about these methods and whether they are suitable for you, please ask your dentist.
Premedication is a tablet taken the night before dental treatment and/or a few hours before to help calm you down and help you arrive at your dental visit without getting too anxious. It is mild, and you are still alert and aware of your surroundings, although more at ease.
Oral sedation is the administration of a much larger dose of sedative in the form of a tablet or drink under the supervision of a dentist. It is most commonly used for individuals who are frightened of having a cannula inserted whilst being fully awake and orientated. As your body absorbs the drink, you will become sedated and need to have a Cannula inserted into your arm, with the option of more sedative being administered once you are already sedated. This sedative will take approximately 20 minutes to take effect, and the effects may last for up to an hour. You will feel drowsy and may not remember all aspects of your visit. You would need to remain in practice for at least 90 mins after drinking the sedative before you can safely leave the practice with a responsible adult.
As with all forms of sedation, you are still required to sign a written consent form detailing the dental treatment you plan to have under the effects of a premedication. Your dentist will ask you to sign a written consent form before the day of treatment. Please make sure you have this thoroughly and ask any questions about your treatment. We cannot make changes to your treatment on the day after taking the medication, but you can decline treatment if you wish.
No, once you have taken a premedication, you will not drive from that point until 24 hours after your last tablet. You must avoid travelling alone and ensure you are safe by arranging a friend or relative to chaperone you to the practice and escort you home.
Premedication prescriptions will be valid for 28 days only. For good practice, take your prescription to a local pharmacy as soon as possible, even if your dental visit is not planned for some time. Once you have your medication take it home, store it in a locked cupboard that only you have access to and keep it out of reach of young children. Never leave a controlled drug in public sight, for example, on the seat of a locked car.
If your prescription expires, you will need to arrange to see the prescribing doctor again for another prescription. You must bring the expired prescription to the appointment to be issued a new one so that it can be accounted for and discarded appropriately. You will be charged for the replacement of expired prescriptions. If you have insufficient time to arrange this, you may need to cancel or re-arrange your appointment.
Do not borrow medication from friends or family. The dentist treating you must be certain of the medication you have taken before safely providing your dental treatment.
· Take your prescription to your pharmacy as soon as possible. (it is only valid for 28 days)
· Once the medication has been obtained, store it safely in a locked cupboard
· Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before or after taking the medication
· Do not drive a car or be responsible for any dependants once you have taken a pre-med
· Make sure you have organised a chaperone to escort you to and from the dental clinic; you must also have a responsible adult to look after you for 24 hours after the last dose of medication has been taken
· Make a note of the times you have taken your medication to tell your dentist
· For best effects, take the tablets on an empty stomach 1-2 hours before your appointment time
· Do not skip doses of your usual medications unless you have been expressly advised to do so by your dentist or doctor
· Once your dental treatment is complete, do not store unused medicines at home. You must discard any unused medication by giving it to your dentist or pharmacist.