What Is Sedation Dentistry & How Can It Help You?

It is no secret that many people avoid going to the dentist until the situation inside their mouths gets very rough. Even then, many try their best to ignore or overcome it through pain medication. They do it all so that they wouldn’t have to sit in a dentist’s chair. 

Fear of dentists isn’t uncommon. Sitting in a chair with your mouth open and looking at all the scary, pointy tools going inside your mouth isn’t easy. Moreover, some people can have sensitive teeth while others can suffer from a bad case of gag reflex.

Many people also feel anxious about the experience. Dental treatments also impose a lot of dietary restrictions, which can be another reason why people believe it’s best to avoid going to a dentist in the first place. 

Sedation dentistry was introduced to counter all the reasons mentioned above.

Sedation Dentistry

While it was common for dentists to only use local anesthesia before beginning a dental treatment, sedation dentistry was introduced to help patients overcome dental phobia and get their due treatments in time. In fact, the fear of needles was another reason that kept people from scheduling a dentist appointment

There are now three safe methods of dental sedation. The method chosen for a specific dental treatment depends on the patient’s pain threshold and the nature of the treatment. The three methods are:

Laughing Gas Sedation

The method of sedation dentistry involving laughing gas is the least risky method. It is also the method whose effects wear off the quickest. It is only used for mild dental treatments, such as during teeth cleanings. 

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is also known as pill sedation as the method takes place with the patient gulping down a pill. Dental sedation induced through a pill is powerful. Many patients fall asleep through this method. It also takes a while to wear off. 

IV Sedation

As the same suggests, IV sedation occurs through an IV. Many patients with an overlap of fear of needles and fear of dentists avoid this method. However, it is the most potent method of dentistry sedation and can last as long as the treatment requires. 

Advantages of Sedation Dentistry 

Dental Sedation has the following three significant advantages:

Easy Administration

Sedation dentistry methods are more manageable in comparison to injecting local anesthesia in the patients’ jaws. During the laughing gas method, adults and even children find it very easy to relax. The effect of laughing gas on patients is quick too. Patients smile as soon as the mask for gas is placed over their nose.

Though the method of IV sedation also uses needles, it is easier for patients to go through as they can see where the needle is injected. Otherwise, many patients find it very difficult to even open their mouths for the dentist to inject anesthesia. In IV sedation, once the patient is sedated, they mostly fall asleep and don’t experience any pain.

No Use of Needles

Two of the popular dental sedation methods involve no use of needles, making them suitable for anyone. At least one in ten people suffer from a fear of needles, and these people can make a large crowd who can benefit from laughing gas dentistry sedation and pill sedation.

No Memory

Patients who opt for pill sedation and IV sedation form no memory of the dental treatment. The dose of the pill and that in IV is strong enough to let them sleep for a while even after the dental treatment is complete. When they wake up, the pain is either completely gone or has considerably reduced. Since they form no memories, they don’t wake up scared or anxious about going through a dental treatment either. 

Maintaining Patients’ Response

Though pill and IV sedation methods are strong enough not to let the patient form any memory, they don’t completely knock out the patients either. In both cases, patients can be woken up by the dentist for a few seconds to adjust their heads so that the dentist can continue their work from the angle that suits them best. 

Patients are completely awake during the laughing gas method. While they don’t feel any pain, they happily comply with the dentist to position their head in a way that lets their dentist access every tooth. 


All dentistry sedation methods are approved and regulated by FDA. Before signing up for any method of dentistry sedation, don’t forget to check out the clinic’s license. 


Science is a gift that keeps on giving. If enough people find a treatment scary, medical practitioners will find a less-scary method to perform the same.

Now that you know about sedation dentistry, there’s no excuse for you to miss your dental appointments. Find a verified dental sedation clinic near you. There are several such dental clinics in South Florida, such as Sedation Dental Spa in Lighthouse Point.