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Incontinence During Sedation Dentistry

Posted by ijaz

Incontinence During Sedation Dentistry

I’ve been dealing with some nerve and muscle issues that my doctor is trying to diagnose. It has caused both mobility issues and, I’m horrified to say, some incontinence. As a separate issue, I’ve always had some dental anxiety. The last time I went for something as simple as a cleaning they suggested I try dental sedation next time so I can relax and not feel terrified throughout the appointment. Worse, yet, they found a major cavity on a tooth that will now need to be crowned. I will definitely want to have sedation for that! I can’t imagine how painful it will be. However, what do I do about my incontinence issue? I won’t be able to control it while under sedation and I don’t want to humiliate myself. I’ve literally been wearing an adult diaper to bed. This is so embarrassing. Is sedation even a possibility for me given my circumstances?


Dear Missy,

Woman asleep in the dental chair; Sedation Dentistry


Please don’t be embarrassed. You are dealing with serious health issues and none of this is your fault. I will tell you right up front that you will probably be fine for dental sedation. You should also know that your dentist has probably heard about every embarrassing problem in the book. It is part and parcel with being in the medical field. Most dentists are compassionate and went into their field because they want to help people. At this stage in your life, there is no shame in needing help especially given the trials you are facing right now.

My advice is to just be upfront and honest with your dentist. Together the two of you can come up with a plan that will get you through your procedure without stress or embarrassment. In fact, he’ll probably be proud of you for persevering despite your circumstances.

As for your mobility issues, even if you did not have those your dentist would require you to have someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you throughout the remainder of the day while the medication works its way out of your system. You will not be steady on your feet during that time and will need a helper.

Most patients end up making it a fun “me” day where they set up a little area on their couch and binge television and movies or read. Think of it as a chance to give yourself some much needed rest and relaxation all while taking care of your oral health.

This blog is brought to you by North Haven Dentist Dr. Asma Ijaz.