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Sedation Dentistry: Can You Relax in the Dentist’s Chair?

Are you anxious and afraid of visiting the dentist? Does just thinking about it make you cringe? Sedation dentistry is a modern solution to help patients who experience fear and anxiety when they think of going to the dentist. It provides a comfortable, worry-free environment so that even the most anxious patient can relax during treatment.

What is Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry involves using certain techniques or medications to provide emotional comfort to patients during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry aims to allow people with severe dental anxiety to receive necessary care without feeling stressed out or scared. The two standard methods used for sedation are conscious sedation and deep sedation (also known as general anesthesia).

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation keeps the patient conscious and aware but relaxes them to the point where they are comfortable enough not to feel any pain. It is done through either oral medication or intravenous injection. Oral medications may include benzodiazepines such as Valium or Halcion, which act quickly and make the patient drowsy. The intravenous injection can be more potent with a combination of drugs, including midazolam, propofol, fentanyl, and ketamine.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation is when the patient is put in a state of near unconsciousness, allowing them to remain unaware of any pain or discomfort during the dental procedure. It is achieved by combining medications such as propofol, benzodiazepines, and other anesthetics.


The main benefit of sedation dentistry is that it allows patients with severe fear and anxiety to receive the necessary treatment without feeling afraid or stressed out. It also helps those who have difficulty getting numb from local anesthetic injections and need more pain relief during procedures. Additionally, sedation dentistry can reduce the time needed for a dental appointment since the patient doesn’t need to take breaks or be distracted by discomfort.


Although sedation dentistry has many benefits, there are risks involved with its use. These risks include drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure, respiratory depression, and allergic reactions to the medications used. Speaking with your dentist about any potential risks before undergoing sedation dentistry is important.


Sedation dentistry is an excellent option for those who experience fear and anxiety when visiting the dentist. Patients can receive necessary dental treatment with sedation dentistry without feeling scared or stressed out. However, discussing possible risks with your dentist before undergoing this type of procedure is important.

Q: Is sedation dentistry safe?

A: Sedation dentistry is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and experienced dentist.

Q: Can I drive after my sedation dentistry appointment?

A: It is recommended that someone drive you home after your appointment due to the effects of the medication used for sedation.

Q: How long does it take for the effects of sedation dentistry to wear off?

A: The length of time can vary depending on the type and amount of medication used, but the effects should generally wear off within a few hours.