Dental Sedation Options

Dental sedation is an option that helps patients feel comfortable and relaxed during their treatment. We offer multiple options to suit your individual needs and preferences.


Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild form of dental sedation that you breathe through a mask over your nose. It works very quickly and wears off just as fast.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is known more commonly as “laughing gas.” This type of sedation dentistry allows patients to feel calm and relaxed in just a few minutes. It is administered through a mask that covers the nose and is breathed in throughout treatment. Unlike other types of dental sedation, nitrous oxide is not habit-forming and does not cause any unpleasant side effects. In fact, it can even make patients feel silly and giggly, which is a great way to ease tension and anxiety! This type of sedation is very popular with children because it does not interfere with their normal development and is completely safe for them to receive.

Oral Sedation

Also called pill sedation, oral sedation is an anti-anxiety medication that is taken before a procedure to relax the patient. This drug is often a member of the benzodiazepine family, such as Valium or Xanax, and is usually prescribed for a short amount of time before a dental appointment. It is not as strong as nitrous oxide, but is still effective in calming the patient.

It is very important to discuss a dental patient’s medical history and current medications before receiving sedation. The dentist will also need to determine whether the sedation is safe for the patient’s age and health status. It is also necessary to discuss the risks and benefits of sedation and have the patient sign a consent form before the procedure is performed.

Patients should bring a trusted friend or family member with them to their sedation appointment. This person should be prepared to drive the patient home after their appointment, as they will likely feel groggy and need help getting back to sleep. In addition, patients should avoid eating or drinking anything after they are done with their sedation.

Oral Sedation

Patients are given a pill to take before their dental appointment, which can cause them to feel drowsy and relaxed. They will still be awake and able to respond to commands, but many report not remembering much of what happened during their sedation treatment. The drug also helps reduce the likelihood of an inopportune gag reflex during a procedure, making it a good option for those with high levels of anxiety or a low pain tolerance.

The pill takes an hour or so to start working, so the dentist will ask a patient to wait until it kicks in before starting any work. The level of drowsiness will vary, but most patients are comfortable and sleepy. They may feel a tingling sensation in their arms, legs and hands. This can make them feel very calm & relaxed, and it reduces negative feelings like fear and stress. It also makes it easier to hold their mouth open, which is important for some procedures, such as wisdom tooth removal.

For more moderate sedation, dentists can use drugs that they inject into the bloodstream. This allows them to control the amount of sedation, and it works quickly. These medications include nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, which is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask over the nose. This is the mildest form of sedation, and it wears off quickly so patients can drive home after their appointment.

In some cases, dentists will administer a stronger drug that they put into a vein (IV). This causes a more profound sedation, and it may be used for longer procedures. The drug used will depend on the patient’s health condition, level of anxiety and whether or not they have any previous medical history. Diabetics and those with long-standing high blood pressure are advised to be cautious with this type of sedation.

IV Sedation

The drug used for IV sedation is injected directly into the bloodstream, meaning it can take effect more quickly than oral sedation drugs. It also allows for more complex dental procedures to be performed during the same visit. It is a good option for patients with severe anxiety, fear and/or phobias about visiting the dentist, who have trouble being numb, or who have sensitive teeth. Like general anesthesia, IV sedation renders the patient unconscious or nearly so during a procedure. But unlike general anesthesia, IV sedation patients can still respond to the dentist and communicate about pain or discomfort during treatment.

Dentists who perform IV sedation often use nitrous oxide or other sedation methods to help the patient relax before and after receiving the injection. They may also add pain-reducing medication to the IV sedation, such as fentanyl (a strong analgesic), nubain (nalbuphine) or Toradol (ketorolac). This helps reduce the need for large amounts of sedative drugs and provides a more comfortable experience.

When the sedation has worn off, the patient will usually remember little or nothing about their appointment. This can help eliminate negative feelings associated with visits to the dentist and increase the likelihood of patients going to see their dental professional on a regular basis, which is essential for maintaining optimal oral health.

Sedation dentistry can reduce the need for expensive and invasive procedures in the future, such as dental implants, crowns or bridges. This type of sedation also ensures that patients receive the preventative care they need, which can help them avoid major dental problems in the future, including tooth loss and gum disease. People who suffer from dental anxiety often delay or avoid appointments, which can lead to serious and sometimes costly problems with their teeth and overall health. Sedation dentistry makes it possible for these patients to get the dental treatment they need in a safe and pleasant environment, which can improve their quality of life and avoid more serious issues in the future.