I am a vet who’s recently just finished my 4th tour. I have some significant dental needs that I want to take care of. My question is, if I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD is dental sedation even an option? Do you have experience with how people in my situation respond in the dental chair? Is there anything important I need to know? I sincerely don’t think I’ll do well in the chair without sedation, but don’t know if it’s possible or not.
You’ve been through so much in the defense of your country, as well as helping others experience freedom. For that we thank and respect you. There is absolutely no reason why you should have to suffer any anxiety from your dental care. Seeing a trained sedation dentist will prevent that.
Given your PTSD, some extra precautions are warranted.
Any sedation dentist should require a prior consultation with you before the actual treatment day. This is to review any medications you are on and ensure the dentist won’t use any type of medication that has interactions with your current medicines.
That is sedation 101. However, it’s also important you let your dentist know about your PTSD. Often there are specific triggers involved—such as sharp implements coming toward you or someone walking up behind you unannounced. If you know of any of yours, be sure to tell the dentist. This way he or she can avoid them. They’ll then know how to best approach you.
In the Know with Dental Sedation
Because you have more work than normal to be done, I’m going to recommend oral conscious sedation. It’s very strong. In fact, it is so strong, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you throughout the day until you are lucid and steady on your feet.
For your part, all it really entails (besides finding a buddy to assist you) is to take a pill prior to your appointment. That’s it.
In your situation, make sure your buddy is also aware of your situation as well as your triggers. We want this to be as peaceful and event free for you as possible. You’ll likely find this will totally reshape your ability to care for your teeth. You’ll be able to get more work done during each appointment so your dental health will be back on track in no time.
The one thing you don’t want to do is put off your dental care and end up with a dental emergency with no way to control the environment or work with a dentist ahead of time about your important situation.
Again, thank you for your service.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Ashley Price.