Sedation Dentistry 101: Types, Preparation, and How It Works

Sedation dentistry helps to reduce anxiety, fear, and pain associated with dental procedures, making the experience more manageable and pleasant for patients. Sedation Dentists can greatly benefit patients who have a strong fear or anxiety about dental procedures, have a sensitive gag reflex or need multiple procedures performed in a single visit. 

What are the Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry?

The various types of sedation used in dentistry, include:

  1. Inhalation Sedation (Nitrous Oxide): It is a mild form of sedation that provides a calming effect, reducing anxiety and allowing the patient to relax during the procedure.
  1. Oral Sedation: In this type of sedation you have to take a pill before the procedure. The pill, usually a mild sedative, will cause the patient to feel relaxed and drowsy during the procedure.
  1. Intravenous (IV) Sedation: IV sedation involves the Administration Of Medication through a vein, usually in the arm. IV sedation often causes the patient to feel drowsy and less aware of their surroundings, but they will still be able to respond to commands.

How to Prepare for the Procedure?

  1. Avoid eating and drinking: Before the procedure starts, avoid drinking and eating for a few hours. It will help in preventing inhaling food or liquid into your lungs.
  1. Wear comfortable clothing: it is helpful if you wear comfortable clothes and give easy access to arms and mouth.
  1. Arrange for transportation: After the procedure, it is suggested to arrange for a transportation. A person who is responsible to drive you home.
  1. Inform your dentist of any changes in your health: if you are taking any new medications or any changes in your health be sure to inform your dentist.
  1. Follow pre-operative instructions: Be sure to follow the instructions carefully that are given by your dentist to ensure the best outcome.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

Sedation dentistry helps the patients to feel more relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. This can be done through various ways like minimal sedation, moderate sedation, profound sedation, and general anesthesia. Minimal sedation is achieved through the use of oral medications, such as pills or liquids, which help the patient feel relaxed and calm. Moderate sedation, also known as conscious sedation, is achieved through the use of intravenous (IV) medications. Deep sedation is a level of sedation where the patient is not fully conscious but can still be awakened with stimulation. General anesthesia makes the patient completely unconscious. The type of sedation used during a dental procedure will depend on the procedure itself, the patient’s level of anxiety, and the preferences of the patient and dentist.


Sedation dentistry can be a great option for patients who have a high level of anxiety about dental procedures, have a strong gag reflex, have a history of traumatic dental experiences, or require extensive or complex dental work. However, it is important to work closely with your dentist to determine the best type of sedation for your individual needs and to follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and successful experience.

Ottawa Dentists improves oral health and provides a more comfortable and relaxed dental experience for patients.