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What Is Sedation Dentistry

As many of us are familiar with, a trip to the dentist can cause some serious anxiety. Dental phobia or dental fear is a common concern, which prevents millions of people from scheduling regular dental appointments. Many of them may need dental treatments, but their fear or anxiety about going to the dentist keeps them from seeking necessary care.

The fear of dental procedures is not uncommon. Many people find it hard to get past the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills. Even a minor treatment like teeth cleaning can cause serious distress. Thankfully, there’s a solution that makes it easier for anxious patients to relax during dental treatments: sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, also known as “sleep dentistry,” is the use of sedatives to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is an ideal option for those with dental anxiety or fear, low pain tolerance, or difficulty sitting for a long time.

Sedation dentistry has revolutionized the field of dental medicine by making dental treatments comfortable and painless. It provides an excellent option for patients who dread visiting the dentist and allows dentists to perform multiple procedures in a single visit, saving both time and resources.

Sedation dentistry is not one-size-fits-all. There are different types of sedation used in dentistry, and your dentist will determine the right one for you based on your individual needs and preferences.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

The most common types of sedation used in dentistry include:

1. Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative that is inhaled through a mask placed over the nose. It creates a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, and detachment, which makes it easier for patients to relax during dental treatments. Nitrous oxide has a short duration of effect, and the patient can drive themselves home after the procedure.

2. Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves taking an oral medication like Halcion an hour before the dental appointment. The medication produces a sedative effect, which allows patients to relax throughout the procedure. Although the patient remains conscious during the procedure, they may feel drowsy, and the dentist may recommend someone else drives them home.

3. Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous sedation, also known as IV sedation, is the most potent form of sedation dentistry. It involves administering sedative medications directly into the patient’s bloodstream through a vein in their arm. IV sedation produces a profound level of sedation that may cause the patient to fall asleep during the procedure. As such, it is best suited for more complex dental treatments.


In conclusion, sedation dentistry is a game-changer for patients who are anxious or fearful of dental treatments. At River Valley Smile Center, we are committed to providing a comfortable and stress-free dental experience to our patients.

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