Sedation Dentistry - How It Makes Dental Procedures Easier

Sedation Dentistry - How It Makes Dental Procedures Easier

Sedation dentistry is beneficial for patients who feel nervous, anxious, or stressed about visiting the dentist’s office. For some patients, the fear or anxiety is so severe that they cannot even make and keep an appointment with a dental professional.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative medications to help patients relax during dental procedures. These sedatives help patients feel calm, or even sleepy, during a procedure, so they feel like their visits are much shorter than they truly are.

Types of sedation

  • Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is an odorless gas you inhale through a mask that’s placed over your nose. You’ll feel relaxed but conscious and will be able to communicate with our dentist. The effects wear off as soon as you stop inhaling the gas. Nitrous oxide sedation doesn’t put you to sleep.

  • Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves taking a sedative by mouth. Oral sedation is very safe. Sedatives can be administered in pill form or a liquid. Once the sedative takes effect, you often feel drowsy and may not remember much from the procedure.

  • IV sedation

Also referred to as intravenous or “intravenous,” IV sedation involves the administration of sedatives directly into the bloodstream. This type of sedation dentistry takes effect quickly, making it an ideal option for patients with strong dental anxiety.

  • General anesthesia

General anesthesia is a type of sedation dentistry where a patient under sedation is rendered unconscious. This level of sedation is reserved for certain procedures, such as wisdom tooth extraction, where the patient cannot cooperate or is anxious. It can be used on children and adults.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes, sedation dentistry is very safe. In fact, statistics show that sedation dentistry is safer than traditional dental work. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “patients receiving sedative drugs during common dental procedures were no more likely to experience an adverse reaction than those not receiving sedatives.”

Researchers have found that there is only a 1:200,000 risk of having an adverse reaction from sedation dentistry.

Benefits of sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is the practice of using sedatives to help patients feel more relaxed during dental treatment. Depending on the type of sedative, its effect can last for a couple of hours or several days. The benefits of sedation dentistry include the following:

  • Patients feel relaxed. The sedatives used in these types of dental treatments relax the patient’s mind and body. This can help patients with dental anxiety feel more at ease during dental procedures.
  • Offer pain relief.If a patient is feeling pain, sedation dentistry can help them feel a little better while they get treatment. This can also help make procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions, or wisdom tooth removal more tolerable.
  • Ease of dental cleaning.Some sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure but feel more relaxed than usual. This can make it much easier for patients to get their teeth cleaned.
  • Greater comfort.Patients who undergo sedation dentistry often have less pain during and after treatment. This helps them have a more positive dental experience overall.
  • Greater safety. Sedation dentistry can also help make treatments safer. For example, sedatives can help patients stay still during procedures, preventing injury or damage to teeth, gums, and the mouth.

To learn more about our dental procedures or to schedule your appointment for dental checkups, call Whitlow Dental Care at (559)441-7700.


Phone: (559) 441-7700

Email: [email protected]


1326 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721

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