Women at dentist office relaxed and sedated

Sedation Dentistry Treatment

Let’s relieve your dental anxiety, so you can feel safe and comfortable during your visit.

Sit back & relax

Sedation dentistry is provided to patients who find it difficult to undergo routine dental care due to high anxiety or fear. This procedure can help to reduce both anxiety and discomfort during your appointment. Sedation is generally provided in the dental clinic via the administration of medication at the beginning of your appointment.

Although sedation is available for all forms of treatment, examinations and x-rays are typically completed in the absence of sedation. The involvement of the patient is necessary in the diagnostic and treatment planning stages of care.

small child being sedated for dental treatment

Sedation dentistry options


Nitrous oxide gas

This option keeps you relaxed during your procedure. You will remain aware of your surroundings, but your nervousness and pain is greatly reduced. Nitrous oxide gas is processed by the body quickly and does not linger beyond the time of the administration of the nitrous oxide gas.


Oral sedatives

A sedative taken orally an hour or so before your appointment can also be helpful. You’re drowsy, but conscious, during your appointment, and you will feel far less anxious. The drowsiness may last for several hours.

dentist writing results of patients examination

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Before deciding on a sedation option, your dentist will take a comprehensive health history and check your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and respiration) to ensure they are selecting the safest option for you.

Our team has advanced training to support our patients when dental care is being provided under sedation.

During our sedation appointments, we will always monitor blood oxygen level, blood pressure, and the pulse of our sedated patient.

Don’t ignore your oral health—we have options to make dental work more manageable for you.

women talking to her dentist during dental clinic appointment

Who can sedation dentistry help?

You and your dentist will need to decide if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry based on your medical history and your level of anxiety around dental work. You should make clear to your dentist if you’ve had any allergic or adverse reactions to anesthesia in the past so your dentist can make a safe decision about how to proceed.

Sedation dentistry is ideal for patients who are in reasonably good health and have:

  • A high fear of dental procedures or needles
  • Had a traumatic dental experience in the past
  • A history of resistance to local anesthetic
  • A very sensitive gag reflex
  • Extremely sensitive teeth
  • Complex dental problems
  • A small mouth that is hard for a dentist to work on

If any of these issues apply to you, you should consider asking your dentist about sedation dentistry. Please keep in mind that patients with certain medical conditions or on certain medications may not be suitable candidates for sedation dentistry.

Pediatric dentist doing Inhalation Sedation to a child while teeth treatment at dental clinic

What are some benefits of sedation dentistry?

If you’ve been avoiding dental care, sedation dentistry can offer many benefits to you as a patient and to your dentist during the procedure because it:

  • Lowers the anxiety you feel and keeps you relaxed during the procedure
  • Promotes comfort and cooperation
  • Gives the dentist more control of their movements
  • Helps to control the gag reflex
  • Permits greater treatment to be completed with greater comfort during the procedure
  • Can be adapted to your specific case and sedation can last from 2-6 hours

How sedation dentistry works

On the day of your sedation dentistry appointment, you may have some preparation depending on the type of sedation which has been recommended for you.

You will meet with your dentist in advance of the sedation dentistry appointment. At that consultation, you will have a detailed conversation outlining the treatment to be completed and what to expect, along with what is required from you on and after your appointment,

If you and your dentist have selected to use nitrous oxide, you have to do nothing prior to your appointment besides having a responsible person accompany you. The dentist will administer the nitrous oxide before, during, and after your procedure.

If you are taking an oral sedative, your dentist will provide you with the necessary medication at the beginning of your appointment. You will need to present to your appointment without having consumed food or beverage. Ensure that you follow your dentist’s instructions carefully both before and after your appointment to ensure a successful visit. You will require someone to drive you to and from your sedation dentistry appointment, and remain with you for 24 hours after the procedure.

You and your dentist may decide that you need IV sedation. You will have to discuss your medical history and any reactions to anesthesia in the past. You will not be able to eat or drink anything for a prescribed amount of time before your appointment. You will require a responsible person to drive you home afterward.

Teeth tidbit

Sedation dentistry vs. sleep dentistry

Sedation dentistry is when your dentist uses sedatives to make your procedure more comfortable and anxiety-free for you. If your dentist mentions sleep dentistry, they are likely referring to the use of general anesthesia, which will make you unconscious during the procedure.