Three Things Every Patient Should Know about Dental Sedation

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If you have anxiety when you visit the dental clinic, or if you have severe oral pain, you may consider using a service known as dental sedation. This is a form of sedation that is administered by your dentist to help you sleep through the procedure. If you have never used this service before, you may be curious about what you need to know regarding the sedation. Here are three things that every patient should know about dental sedation.

Types of Drugs

Due to some patients having medically related allergies, it is important to know what types of drugs your dentist may use for the sedation. Valium is a common option due to its long lasting effects and the ability to last for the duration of longer procedures like root canals. Other drugs include Halcion, Sonata, Ativan, Vistaril, and Versed. Your dentist may prefer one of these options over other available drugs for a number of reasons. Before you settle on having dental sedation, make sure you discuss the type of drug being used to ensure there is no allergic reaction.

Types of Sedation and Methods

There are two basic types of sedation with various delivery methods. The two types are conscious and unconscious sedation. If you choose the conscious option, you will be awake for the procedure but the drug will handle the pain. You will also not remember the procedure. This is a common option that some people choose if pain is the issue and not anxiety. If you have severe anxiety, you may want to choose the unconscious sedation options.

With these types of sedation, you also have three methods of delivery. The first is inhalation, which is done with a mask similar to an oxygen mask. The second is oral, or by swallowing the medication and waiting for it to take effect. The third is through an IV or intravenous methods. Your doctor may offer all or only some of these delivery method options depending on the exact sedation services available.


One of the things you need to be aware of are the risks associated with dental sedation. Each drug has its own effect, risks, recovery time, and possible issues. Before randomly choosing an option, consider having a consultation with your dentist to discuss and become educated on each risk factor and how it may be managed. The common risks are breathing issues, nausea, vomiting, and drug interactions with current medications you may be on.

These three things you should know are only a few topics that need to be addressed before your appointment. If you believe that sedation is an option for your anxiety or severe oral pain, then talk to your dentist or a specialist (such as Bruce Stevens For Everything Dental). Listen to their options and carefully consider your next step.