There are four types of dental sedation methods used in dentistry today:

  • Oral sedatives - medications such as diazepam can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour before the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.
  • Intravenous sedation - like oral sedatives, intravenous sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.
  • Nitrous oxide - in one form of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide gas (also known as laughing gas) is used to induce a state of relaxation. A local anesthetic will be administered in combination with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
  • General anesthesia - the use of anesthetic to render the patient unconscious. Because the patient will be unconscious, a local anesthetic will not be necessary for pain relief.

Degrees of Dental Sedation

The four dental sedation methods listed above can provide varying degrees of sedation. These include:

We are committed to minimizing stress and maximizing safety. We are just as committed to eliminating pain. We'll minimize discomfort prior to starting the IV with local numbing medication. While your sedation is still in effect, we will give you pain medication to ensure that as you wake up (become aware of your surroundings), you will not be in any pain. Of course, the type of pain control will be determined on an individual basis per your needs. As you are discharged from our office after your dental treatment, we'll provide you with a prescription for adequate pain control as well.

Different Levels of Sedation for Different Needs

Intravenous sedation/conscious sedation is deeper, more reliable and controllable, and easily adjusted to each individual patient. This is in contrast to other typical dental office agents like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pills (oral sedation) that only provide lighter levels of relaxation.

Mild or moderate sedation/procedural sedation in which you are awake but drowsy is a very effective way to relieve anxiety. With slightly deeper sedation, you will be breathing on your own while monitored but you will have no memory of your procedure when you wake.

The level of sedation will be adjusted according to your needs.  We keep you safe, healthy and happy.