Sedation Options

When it comes to pain and fear of pain from dental treatment, you can bet on one thing. Your dentist has been trained to use an arsenal of techniques to prevent that pain and ease that fear.

Preventing pain has changed a lot over a period of years, and it continues to evolve. How can you keep pain at bay and ease your concern? One way is to take a team approach: Tell your dentist what worries you, and the dentist will tell you what can be done to help.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a type of minimal sedation. This means you feel calmer and are less aware of what’s happening. However, you stay awake, breathe, and swallow on your own. You’re also able to respond to what the dentist is saying, but you might not remember everything later.

Conscious Sedation

Minimal sedation (sometimes called Conscious Sedation) is used most frequently in dentistry and usually involves taking medications orally. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on his or her own. The patient may respond normally to verbal commands and may experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” may be used to achieve minimal sedation and in combination with a recommended dosage of oral medication.

IV Sedation

Another type of dental sedation is intravenous (IV) sedation, which is provided by dentists with specialized training in IV sedation. Sedation is safe when administered by dentists who are trained in its use. However, as with any medication, sedation involves a certain amount of risk. It is important to talk to your dentist about these risks. [4]

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