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Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a useful way to cater to patients’ dental experiences. There are numerous reasons why a patient may go to the dentist—from pain to cosmetic procedures. It is vital that they are comfortable during their appointments. Therefore, some patients require sedation to have a safer, more comfortable time. 

Sedation is a form of medication that can alter a patient’s anxiety and pain for a more pleasant dental appointment. 

cheerfuls woman sitting in dental chair sedation dentistry dentist in Tulsa Oklahoma

Types of Sedation

While there are many different types of sedation, oral sedation and IV sedation are common at dental offices. 

Oral Sedation

Dentists will give oral sedation, typically in pill form. For efficiency, you may take your sedative at home because it takes about an hour for you to feel its effects. You cannot drive while under the influence of this type of sedation. This means that you will need a friend to bring you to your appointment and then take you home. 

Oral sedation will make you groggy or sleepy, calming your nerves. You may even fall asleep during your procedure. However, the sedation is not strong enough to completely put you to sleep. Your dentist and dental team will still be able to talk with you. 

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

For more intense procedures or severe dental anxiety, you may need IV sedation. An anesthesiologist will give the sedative through the IV line and monitor your blood pressure and heart rate during your procedure. IV sedation makes most people fall asleep during their procedures. Additionally, it is unlikely that you will remember any part of your dental process. 

The doctor will reverse your sedation after the procedure. Once you wake up, your friend or loved one can drive you home to recover. 

Why Choose Sedation?

There are various reasons why you may choose sedation for your dental experience. Depending on the procedure, your dentist may recommend sedation to ease the process. 


A large majority of people have some form of dental anxiety. In fact, some organizations report that about 36% of adults have a fear of the dentist. Unfortunately, fear or anxiety of the dentist keeps patients from seeking routine dental care. Individuals who avoid the dentist are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, oral health connects to your overall health. For example, there are correlations between gum disease and heart disease. 

If you have dental anxiety, your dentist can provide sedation in order to calm your nerves. Unless your fear is extreme, you will still be awake during your exam. Typically, you would use oral conscious sedation to ease dental anxiety.


Some dental issues can cause severe pain. If this is the case, you may need sedation for your dentist to perform your procedure. This will keep you comfortable and allow your dentist to do their job seamlessly. 

Some patients have extremely sensitive teeth. So, they need some form of sedation to reduce their pain. Or, they may need to be asleep or nearly asleep to get through their procedure.