What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative medications to help patients feel more comfortable, relaxed and calm during their appointments. Sedation is often a solution for individuals who suffer from dental anxiety and fear, and works by helping patients feel more at ease. There are several types of sedation available, and our oral surgeon and team will work with you to help you find the type of sedation that is most appropriate for your individual needs.

Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is beneficial for anyone who:

Will I feel pain from my treatment if I receive sedation dentistry?

You should not experience pain or discomfort during your treatment. In addition to sedation, our oral surgeon will provide a topical anesthetic to numb pain and help you feel comfortable.

Will I remember anything about my treatment?

You are unlikely to remember the details of your treatment. While many forms of sedation dentistry allow you to be aware of your surroundings and respond to instructions, you will most likely feel as though you slept through your procedure and wake up with little or no memory of the treatment itself.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes. Sedation dentistry is usually very safe. Our oral surgeon will review your medical history with you prior to your treatment to determine which sedation option is best for you, and we will monitor you closely throughout your entire treatment to avoid any complications.

What types of sedation are available?

There are several types of sedation available, including:

What does the phrase “conscious sedation” mean?

If you receive conscious sedation, then you will be awake during your treatment and able to respond to any instructions from our oral surgeon. The medication provided by your sedation treatment will keep the sensations at a distance, and may induce a floating or euphoric feeling. You may also feel as if you slept through your treatment and have little or no memory of the treatment itself. Forms of conscious sedation include nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation.

What is oral sedation?

Oral sedation is a type of conscious sedation that works through a prescribed oral medication. By taking your medication just prior to your appointment, you will be relaxed and comfortable by the time you sit down in the dental chair. If you choose this form of sedation, make sure that someone is available to drive you to and from our office.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation that works via inhalation. We will place a nose mask on your face, and as you breathe in the nitrous oxide you will begin to feel relaxed. Many patients report a floating or euphoric sensation. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off shortly after you stop inhaling it, and you can legally and safely drive yourself home after your appointment.

What is IV sedation?

IV (intravenous) sedation is a type of conscious sedation that provides medication directly into your bloodstream to help you relax quickly and feel comfortable during your treatment. If you receive this treatment, you will need to make sure that someone is available to drive you home and to remain with you for several hours after your appointment until the medication wears off.

What is hospital sedation?

Hospital sedation, often referred to as general anesthesia, is a type of sedation that puts you completely to sleep. This type of sedation is typically recommended when a patient’s oral health needs require general anesthesia in order to treat them without complication. Hospital sedation is a particularly good option for children or individuals with special needs who have extreme difficulty receiving care, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, or individuals who need extensive dental work performed in a single appointment.

Is sedation dentistry a good option for children?

Yes. Children often feel anxious or fearful when visiting the dentist, and sedation dentistry can help them feel more relaxed so that they can receive treatment. There are a number of sedation options available for children, ranging from milder forms of sedation such as nitrous oxide to general anesthesia. We will work with you and your child to ensure that they receive the type of sedation that is most appropriate for their situation, and monitor your child closely during their treatment for their safety.

Does sedation dentistry cure dental phobia?

Sedation dentistry is not a cure for dental anxiety and phobia. It is a temporary solution that allows you to receive care more quickly and easily. However, you may find that after a few worry-free visits that you experience less anxiety. Please feel free to contact our office for more details and for tips on how to manage dental anxiety and fear. We are happy to help you.