Exploring The Different Types Of Sedation Dentistry

February 28, 2023 by Salt Lake Dental
Exploring The Different Types Of Sedation Dentistry

Are you feeling anxious about visiting the dentist? You’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with dental anxiety and fear the pain, discomfort, or embarrassment of a dental visit. Fortunately, there is a way to make your visits more comfortable and less intimidating: Sedation Dentistry. Read on to learn more about sedation dentistry and the different types you should know before you go!

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a branch of dental medicine that uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. There are different types of sedation dentistry, and the type of sedation used will depend on the procedure being performed and the patient’s medical history.
Some common types of sedation used in dentistry include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation (a pill taken before the appointment), IV sedation (a more intense form of sedation delivered through an IV), and general anesthesia (putting the patient to sleep).
Sedation dentistry can be used for a variety of dental procedures, including but not limited to fillings, extractions, crowns, bridges, implants, veneers, teeth whitening, and root canals. It is important to discuss with your dentist what type of sedation will be used for your specific procedure.
If you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist, sedation dentistry may be an option for you. It is important to talk to your dentist about your concerns and ask if sedation dentistry is right for you.

Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are four main types of sedation dentistry: oral, IV, inhalation, and local anesthesia. Here is a brief overview of each type:

1. Oral Sedation:

Oral sedation involves taking a pill before your appointment. The pill will make you feel drowsy and relaxed. You will awake during the procedure but may not remember much about it afterward.

2. IV Sedation:

With IV sedation, medication is delivered directly into your bloodstream through an IV in your arm. This type of sedation is very effective, and the dental team will closely monitor you throughout the procedure.

3. Inhalation Sedation:

Also known as “laughing gas”, this type of sedation is inhaled through a mask that is placed over your nose during the procedure. It will make you feel lightheaded and relaxed, but you will be able to respond to questions and follow directions from the dental team.

4. Local Anesthesia:

Local anesthesia numbs a specific area of your mouth so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. You will be awake and able to cooperate with the dental team during the treatment.

Benefits and Risks of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry has many benefits, including reducing anxiety and fear, allowing patients to have a more comfortable experience, and providing a way to complete multiple procedures in one visit. However, there are also risks associated with sedation dentistry that patients should be aware of before undergoing treatment. These risks include potential side effects from the medication used for sedation and the possibility of complications from anesthesia. Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of sedation dentistry with their dentist before treatment to ensure that it is the right option.

How to Prepare for a Sedation Dentistry Procedure

Sedation dentistry is a great option for patients who experience anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist. Different types of sedation are available, and your dentist will work with you to determine the best option for you based on your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a sedation dentistry procedure:
– Make sure to disclose any medical conditions or medications that you are taking to your dentist. This will help them determine if sedation is right for you.
– Eat a light meal before your appointment. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine beforehand.
– Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment. Loose-fitting clothes are best to recline in the dental chair easily.
– Bring someone with you to drive you home after your procedure. Sedatives can make it unsafe for you to drive yourself home.

Questions to Ask Your Dentist Before Going Under

1. What are your qualifications for providing sedation dentistry?
2. What type of sedation will you be using?
3. How will the sedation be administered?
4. What are the risks and side effects associated with the type of sedation being used?
5. How long will the effects of the sedation last?
6. What should I do if I experience any side effects during or after the procedure?
7. Will I be completely unconscious during the procedure?
8. If I am conscious, will I be able to remember anything that happens during the procedure?
9. Will someone be monitoring me during the procedure?
10. When can I expect to see results from the procedure?

Alternatives to Sedation Dentistry

There are a few alternatives to sedation dentistry that you can consider if you’re looking to avoid using drugs or anesthesia during your dental procedure. One option is to use nitrous oxide, a gas you breathe in through a mask that helps relax you during the procedure. Another alternative is hypnosis, which can help you overcome any fear or anxiety about going to the dentist. Lastly, new technologies are being developed that may provide an alternative to traditional sedation dentistry, such as virtual reality headsets or devices emitting calming scents.


Exploring the different types of sedation dentistry is important when deciding the best type for you. It is vital to understand and be aware of the effects, risks, and benefits associated with each type of sedation. With this knowledge in hand, you will be able to make an informed decision on which method is best suited for your needs. Be sure to discuss all options with your dentist so that they can help guide you through this important process.


Q: What is sedation dentistry?

A: Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The medication used may be either inhaled, such as nitrous oxide or taken orally, such as anti-anxiety medications.

Q: What are the different types of sedation dentistry?

A: The different types of sedation dentistry include inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide), oral sedation (anti-anxiety medications), intravenous (IV) sedation, and general anesthesia.

Q: What are the benefits of sedation dentistry?

A: The benefits of sedation dentistry include reducing pain, discomfort, and anxiety during dental procedures. It can also help patients who fear the dentist, have difficulty getting numb, or have a sensitive gag reflex.