Theriot Family Dental

Will I Lose My Memories with Dental Sedation?

Posted by writeradmin

I have a pretty extreme phobia of the dentist. They recommended I use dental sedation. At first, I was cool with that. But, then they told me that I would probably not even remember the appointment. Not to sound paranoid or anything, but that sort of terrifies me just as much. I was embarrassed to say anything to them because I didn’t want them to think that I didn’t trust them. To be honest, though, the idea of not remembering what happens to me is scary. Do all sedation medicines do that?


Dear Lindsey,

Woman asleep in dental chair

The first thing you should know is that you have complete control over how this is handled. While it is true that many dental sedation medications will make you drowsy and you are likely to sleep through the appointment, you have options that should make you feel safe during the procedure. It doesn’t erase your memories as much as you’ve slept through everything. You don’t remember everything that happens during your rest at night, so it is a bit like that.

I would suggest that you be upfront with your dentist. When dentists offer sedation as an option, they tend to be compassionate. They also understand that patients who need sedation have endured trauma in their lives. In some cases, that trauma was in a dental chair. In other cases, it was other life experiences that has caused their anxiety. They will understand your fears and, if they are the right dentist for you, will not feel judged.

Two Options If You Are Concerned About Memory

One option you have is to use nitrous oxide instead of oral conscious sedation. With this medication, you are much more likely to remember your appointment. In fact, once the appointment is over, you will be able to drive yourself home. The only downside is that it is not as strong as other types of dental sedation. If your dental anxiety is pretty severe, you might want to seriously consider your next alternative.

Your second option is to have someone you know and trust go into the operatory with you. If you need the stronger medication, you will be required to have a friend drive you to and from your appointment, as well as stay with you for a few hours until you are lucid and steady on your feet. It wouldn’t be a big deal for your friend to sit in on your appointment in order to make you feel safe. I feel certain you will be able to find a sedation dentist willing to allow that.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.