Many patients are concerned about their upcoming visit with the dentist. At Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation, we understand just how much people might be worried about their appointment. While sedation dentistry should not be used for every patient, there are more people than you might expect that could benefit from this service.

Understanding Sedation Dentistry

We find that many patients believe that sedation dentistry is completed by coming into the office, being wholly sedated, and then waking up with your dental procedure completed. While this is an option for patients, the majority of patient’s needs for sedation dentistry require significantly less sedation.

There are a variety of different levels of sedation that we offer for our patients depending upon their needs. One of the most critical factors is considering your level of comfort with coming into the office. There are four different types of sedation that we evaluate every patient.

The first type is considered minimal sedation. This approach utilizes low levels of a medication that helps you relax. However, you are awake for the entire procedure. You can remember the details of everything that happens and respond to verbal direction from our staff.

Moderate sedation is used to provide patients with a more profound sense of relaxation. When we utilize this approach, patients can generally remember some parts of their procedure but will forget details. Patients can often respond to verbal directions but are more prone to slurring their speech.

Deep sedation takes patients into a state that is like a light sleep. While patients will generally not remember their procedure or respond to verbal commands, they can easily be awoken.

General anesthesia is used to put patients into a deep sleep. These patients will not remember anything about the actual procedure. They cannot respond to any command while they are unconscious, and waking them up takes longer than any other approach.

Methods of Sedation Delivery

In addition to the level of sedation, there are many different ways that we can use to deliver your sedative. If you have ever had laughing gas while at the dentist’s office, you have experienced sedation dentistry. Laughing gas is considered an inhaled sedation. This process uses nitrous oxide to help produce minimal sedation levels. Patients can quickly recover from the effects of laughing gas as soon as the nitrous oxide is turned off.

Oral sedation uses prescription medications such as Halcion. This medication is picked up from your pharmacy and taken about an hour before your procedure. Oral sedation helps many patients relax before they ever arrive at the office. However, if you use oral sedation, you will need to arrange for transportation to and from your appointment.

IV sedation is frequently used for moderate levels of sedation. One of the benefits of IV sedation is the ability to control the level of sedation during your procedure quickly. This means that if you are feeling any level of discomfort or anxiety, that our staff can quickly adjust the amount of sedative that you receive to make sure you are comfortable.

Deep sedation allows you to be completely unconscious. This approach is often used during certain types of procedures, such as wisdom teeth extraction. Deep sedation allows dental staff to complete complex procedures without impacting your ability to relax.

Some patients are concerned that if they receive some level of sedation dentistry that it means they will not be able to get a local anesthetic. However, local anesthesia can be used with these approaches to ensure that you do not feel any pain throughout your procedure and have a positive experience.


Dental sedation is a great tool that we can use to make sure that you enjoy coming to the dentist. If you have any fear or anxiety about your next appointment, call our office and talk to our friendly staff. We can work with you to help relieve any negative feelings you have about the dentist today!