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7 Important Facts You Should Know About Sedation Dentistry

Are you looking for a way to take away the pain and stress of dental visits? Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective solution. Not only do sedatives help reduce anxiety, but they can also make certain procedures easier to perform and can even extend the length of time required for an appointment. Read on to find out 7 important facts about sedation dentistry that you should be aware of.

Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are several types of sedation dentistry available, all with different levels of intensity. Depending on your individual needs, your dentist will choose which type will work best for you. The three most common types are oral consciousness, intravenous (IV) consciousness, and general anesthesia.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is the most common type of sedation dentistry and involves taking a pill or liquid medication prior to your appointment. This will make you drowsy, but still conscious enough to respond to instructions from your dentist. However, it’s important to note that for this method to be effective, the patient must take the medication exactly as directed by the dentist.

IV Conscious Sedation

IV conscious sedation requires an injection directly into one of your veins, which will provide immediate relief from anxiety and pain throughout your dental procedure. IV conscious sedation is considered a moderate level of sedation, so you will still be conscious enough to respond to instructions from your dentist.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is the most intense form of sedation, and it is usually reserved for extensive dental procedures. With general anesthesia, you will not be able to remember the procedure after it’s finished and you may have difficulty speaking or responding to instructions during the procedure.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry can provide a number of benefits, such as reducing anxiety and pain associated with dental procedures. Additionally, it can make certain procedures easier to perform, as well as extend the length of time that patients are comfortable during their appointments. Because of this, many patients find it easier to undergo complex or lengthy procedures with sedation dentistry.

Reduced Anxiety

One of the primary benefits of sedation dentistry is its ability to reduce anxiety and make patients more comfortable during their appointments. This can be especially beneficial for those who have a strong fear or aversion to dental visits, as well as for those who may require a large number of procedures in one visit.

Easier Procedures

Sedation dentistry can also make certain procedures easier to perform. Many times, patients find it difficult to keep still during long and complex treatments due to discomfort or fear. Sedatives help patients stay relaxed and calm, making such procedures less stressful and more efficient.

Extended Length of Appointments

Sedation dentistry can also extend the length of time required for an appointment. This means that a more complex procedure may be able to be completed in one visit, rather than having to be split up into multiple visits. Additionally, it allows the dentist to perform longer treatments with fewer breaks for the patient’s comfort and safety.

Risks of Sedation Dentistry

Like any form of anesthesia, there are some inherent risks associated with sedation dentistry that patients should be aware of before undergoing their treatment. These include nausea and vomiting, as well as allergic reactions or breathing difficulties if too much sedative is used. Patients should discuss all risks and potential side effects with their dentist before undergoing sedation dentistry.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects associated with the use of sedatives. Though most cases are mild, these symptoms can be more severe in some patients, so it’s important to discuss this possibility with your dentist prior to undergoing any type of sedation.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are another possible risk associated with sedation dentistry. If you have a history of allergies, you should inform your dentist prior to receiving any sedative medication. Additionally, be sure to provide your dentist with information regarding any other medications or treatments you may be receiving.

Breathing Difficulties

Breathing difficulties can occur if too much sedative is administered. This is why it’s important to follow the instructions of your dentist and only take the prescribed amount of medication. Additionally, it’s important to speak up if you feel any discomfort during your procedure so that your dentist can adjust the dosage accordingly.


Sedation dentistry can be a great way to reduce anxiety and make certain procedures easier and more efficient for both patient and dentist alike. It is important, however, to understand all of the risks associated with this form of anesthesia before undergoing treatment. By properly informing yourself and discussing any potential risks with your dentist, you can ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Q: Does sedation dentistry require special preparation prior to the procedure?

A: Yes, it is important to discuss any potential medications or treatments you are receiving before undergoing sedation dentistry. Additionally, if you have any medical conditions or allergies, these should be reported as well.

Q: Is there a limit on how much sedative medication I can take?

A: Yes, the amount of medication prescribed will depend upon the type of procedure being performed as well as other factors such as age and weight. Your dentist will provide specific instructions regarding how much medication is safe for you to take.

Q: Can I drive home after a sedation dentistry appointment?

A: No, you should not drive yourself home after undergoing sedation dentistry. It is important to arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you on your way back from the appointment.