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Sedation Dentistry

Do you suffer from dental phobia or dread the thought of sitting in a dentist’s chair for two hours or longer? Many of our patients are candidates for safe and relaxing sedation options. While local anesthesia numbs treatment sites, sedation works on the central nervous system to induce feelings of well-being and euphoria.


Our office offers two safe and effective forms of sedation: oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a benign gas that is breathed through a small tube that is placed near the nose. Oral sedation uses prescription medications that are taken before your procedure begins.


Are you a candidate?

Most of our patients are great candidates for sedation. Sedation can be a great option if you:

  • Are planning to undergo a lengthy dental procedure
  • Have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Suffer from dental phobia
  • Have restless leg syndrome or another movement disorder
To establish your candidacy for sedation, one of our doctors will screen you for certain risk factors. You may not be a candidate for nitrous oxide if you have a breathing condition or disorder. Neither form of sedation can be used if you have consumed alcohol within 24 hours of your dental procedure. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may not be eligible for sedation.

Benefits of Sedation

Sedation allows patients who suffer from dental phobia to relax as they undergo lengthy or complex procedures. Whether due to a past traumatic event, low pain threshold, or other factors, dental-related anxiety is surprisingly common. Sedation offers a safe and effective means of overcoming dental phobia. Under nitrous oxide or oral sedation, our patients report feeling peaceful, relaxed, and euphoric. One benefit of sedation is the alteration of time perception. Under the effects of sedation, procedures that require two or three hours feel like they were completed in a fraction of that time. Many patients barely remember details about their tooth extraction, root canal, or dental implant placement. Sedation also allows our dentists to work more efficiently. When patients are in a relaxed state with minimal movement and fidgeting, dental procedures can be performed with fewer disruptions.

How Sedation Works

Nitrous oxide and oral sedation work on the central nervous system to induce a drowsy, sleep-like state throughout your dental procedure.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and steadily released through a small tube placed near your nose. After the gas enters your lungs, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream where it reaches the central nervous system. Nitrous oxide delivers mild and moderate levels of sedation. The sedative effects of nitrous oxide set in quickly. Your doctor will monitor the dosage of gas being administered throughout your procedure. Once your treatment has been completed, the stream of gas will be cut off, and you will quickly resume normal consciousness.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is administered through prescription medications. This form of sedation can deliver mild or deep states of relaxation. Depending on the type of drug that is used, oral sedation can result in varying levels of amnesia. Oral sedation requires that patients refrain from eating or drinking for several hours before their procedure. Since the effects of oral sedation can linger, patients will need to arrange for someone to pick them up from our office following their procedure.

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