Conscious Sedation

How conscious sedation supports comfortable, relaxing treatment

Many patients are fearful and anxious about dental treatment and are much more comfortable having procedures performed with sedation.  We offer the whole range of sedation from nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to oral sedation to IV sedation.

  • Nitrous oxide is a gas administered through a nose piece and causes relaxation and a general feeling of wellbeing.  At the end of the procedure, we administer oxygen to clear the gas out of your system and you can drive home.
  • Oral sedation involves taking a pill (Halcion) about an hour before the procedure.  We sometimes give patients a second pill depending on how they feel after the first one takes effect.  Halcion is a sleeping pill that also has an anti-anxiety effect.  Patients generally “snooze” through the procedure and then go home and take another nap. 
  • IV sedation involves administering drugs into a vein.  You will sleep through the procedure and have no memory of it afterwards.  Two doctors are involved with IV patients, one to administer and monitor the sedation, and the other to perform the dental procedures.

For both oral and IV sedation, we will use monitoring equipment that will monitor things like your blood pressure and blood oxygen while you sleep. Local anesthetic is used in addition to the sedation drugs. Oral and IV sedation patients must have a driver.

You are not alone 

Many patients are apprehensive about dental visits. It’s estimated that up to three of every 10 Americans have some form of dental fear, be it anxiety or the much more severe dental phobia that keeps people away from care they need.  Sedation can provide a pleasant, fear-free, and stress-free visit. If you think you would benefit from sedation, ask about it at your consultation appointment.