Dental sedation is a medical procedure that involves the use of medication to induce a state of relaxation or sleep during dental treatment. Sometimes dental sedation services may be necessary for patients who are particularly anxious about dental work or have dental phobias. Dental sedation may be administered orally (by mouth) or intravenously (injected into the bloodstream), depending on the dental treatment required.

When Is Dental Sedation Recommended?

For dental sedation to be effective, the medication used must be strong enough to reduce your anxiety without putting you in danger of being completely out of control. For this reason, dental sedation is often only used for more complicated procedures that require a lot of dental work.

On most occasions, it is used in a wide range of major dental procedures, such as dental implants surgery, root canal treatment, and dental crowns procedure. However, dental sedation services are also available for less complicated dental work, such as cavity fillings and wisdom tooth removals. Your dentist will advise you on whether you need dental sedation based on the dental treatment required.

What Dental Sedation Meditations Are Available?

Dental sedation services use different types of drugs. The following general dental sedation medication is available:

  • Oral dental sedation -- This dental sedation involves the use of a sedative pill an hour or two before dental treatment starts. The pill decreases activity in some parts of your brain that control anxiety and fear. Oral sedation is highly recommended since it is easy to administer and is safe. The medication makes you feel drowsy, but you will still be responsive and awake. More significantly, it leads to amnesia, whereby you will have no memory about the procedure, which is great if you suffer from dental fear.
  • Minimal conscious dental sedation -- This type of dental sedation can provide relaxation but still allows patients to talk and respond to questions.
  • Intravenous dental sedation -- It is a form of dental anesthesia whereby the patient receives sedative drugs through an IV line in their arm before dental treatment starts. It is considered the most effective dental sedation medication because it provides complete relaxation and pain control and makes you feel at peace.  It is mainly recommended for complex dental procedures, such as a dental bridge or dental implants. However, your dentist can prescribe intravenous dental sedation for other dental treatments if necessary.

The Bottom Line

Dental sedation services play a significant role in dentistry. Patients who receive dental care while sedated may be more relaxed and cooperative than when local numbing medicines are used. Sedation allows dental work that was previously done over many appointments to be completed in just one visit.