Here's What You Need To Know About Sedation Dentistry

Regular check-up visits to the dentist facilitate the maintenance of great oral health. The dentist may have to sedate you when your oral health is compromised, and you must undergo a dental procedure. Sedation dentistry entails using medication to calm and relax the patient during a dental procedure by relieving pain, anxiety, and stress. This medication causes a patient to experience short-term amnesia and partial loss of consciousness, which results in an insensitivity to pain. This medication is recommended for people with dental anxiety, special needs, highly sensitive teeth, fear of needles, or difficulty controlling their movement. 

Types of sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is available in three main types: nitrous oxide, oral, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Your condition's severity, medical history, length of the procedure, and personal preferences will influence the type of sedation you receive. Below is an outline of these sedition categories. 

Nitrous oxide 

It is commonly known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is safe since you'll be conscious during the procedure. The dentist administers it through a mask or a nosepiece, asking you to inhale it. Its effects start manifesting within a short time. The dentist will control your sedation throughout the procedure by adjusting its doses. After the treatment, the dentist flushes the nitrous oxide out of your system by giving you pure oxygen. The effects of this sedation wear off quickly, allowing you to carry out normal activities after the treatment. 

Oral sedation 

For this sedation, the dentist gives you the medication, i.e., pills for adults and syrup for pediatric cases, approximately an hour before the procedure. The medication makes you drowsy and may result in sleep. However, the dentist can still easily communicate with you if the need arises by getting your attention through a gentle tap. Oral sedation affects your mobility temporarily, and its effects take a while to wear off, making it prudent to have a family member or friend take you home after the procedure. When dealing with a pediatric case, ensure the child has supervision until the medication wears off. 

Intravenous sedation 

IV sedation entails direct delivery of the sedative into your bloodstream through an intravenous line. During the procedure, the dentist closely monitors your vital signs, e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. This sedation often causes unconsciousness, resulting in total elimination of pain and stress during the procedure and barely any memory of the treatment after regaining consciousness. It is, therefore, excellent for patients undergoing a long procedure or those with severe dental anxiety.


Sedation dentistry eliminates pain, anxiety, and stress, allowing you to receive the quality dental care you deserve. Contact a dentist in your area to learn more about sedation dentistry options for you.