Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?



Some of us are afraid of paying a visit to the dentist from a very young age. The idea of someone using instruments in your mouth can seem terrifying. However, seeing a dentist is extremely important to ensure optimal oral health. If you have ever gotten a cavity in the past, it will teach you a lesson on just how important it is to brush your teeth before you go to bed. However, some people have a fear of dentists that can be difficult to overcome.

Although dentists try their very best to put patients at ease, childhood fears can easily pop up and impact the ability of patients to seek dental care. If you are someone who is unable to conquer his or her fear of visiting the dentist, it might be best to consider sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

In the simplest of words, sedation dentistry refers to the administering of a drug for relaxing patients and putting them into deep sleep so that they can undergo the required dental treatment. Sedation dentistry is offered to patients who have a long-standing fear of visiting the dentist and are unable to reduce their anxiety.

Since preserving oral health is crucial, sedation dentistry might just be what one needs to seek the dental care that they require. It was created to help patients who experience stress when undergoing a dental procedure. By opting for sedation dentistry, you get to ensure that the dentist works smoothly while you relax. Thus, you can rest assured that the dental procedure would be a success. It is the perfect option for those patients that are afraid of getting an invasive procedure done. A local or general anesthetic is used by the dentist to numb the tooth extraction. This means that the patient would not feel anything as their jaw and facial muscles would become relaxed.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

When it comes to sedation dentistry, there is more than just one option. Each option aims to help ease patients that experience stress and anxiety just thinking about undergoing a dental procedure. The dentist will determine which type of sedation dentistry is the right fit for you considering your anxiety level and the nature of the procedure. According to My Dentist San Francisco’s website, the following options are some of the common types:

  1. Nitrous Oxide

Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a type of sedation dentistry that is administered to ensure that patients can quickly undergo minimally invasive treatments. A great thing about nitrous oxide is that it tends to be fast-acting. This allows patients to feel relaxed right away. In fact, patients would even forget about their anxiety altogether when they are administered nitrous oxide. However, it is important to note that it wears off rather quickly. As soon as the procedure ends, you would no longer feel sleepy or loopy and should be able to carry on with your day.

  1. Oral Sedatives

Another type of sedation dentistry option that is available is oral sedatives. If you require a more invasive procedure, you might require an oral sedative. It will last much longer than laughing gas and will allow you to undergo the treatment without any issues. Generally, the dentist will require you to take a diazepam pill about an hour before the appointment so that you feel relaxed at the time of the treatment. As soon as it takes effect, one would start to feel sleepy. Thus, the dentist should be able to perform the work comfortably.

  1. IV (Intravenous) Dental Sedation

The dentist might also recommend IV sedation. It involves the use of general anesthesia. Once it has been administered, the patient will experience a deep sleep or they might feel less anxious or conscious about their surroundings which would allow the dentist to perform the treatment. The sedation is administered through an injection. However, preparation is required such as limiting food and drink for several hours before the treatment.

  1. Local Anesthetic

Finally, it is also possible that the dentist might administer a local anesthetic. It is the preferred choice for shorter and less invasive procedures. The local anesthetic would help numb the mouth so that the procedure can be performed by the dentist.


If you have fear of seeing the dentist, sedation dentistry might be just what you need. Countless patients continue to rely on sedation dentistry for the treatment of oral health issues. It is important that you discuss your options with the dentist to take the right step forward.