Sedation Dentistry: Pros and Cons

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Resources

While not everyone is scared of the dentist, it goes without saying that nervousness can increase  leading up to dental procedures.. For many patients, sedation dentistry provides the opportunity to help reduce these fears. Whether sedation dentistry is the right choice comes down to a personal decision. First, educate yourself on sedation and consider the pros and cons of this option.. 

Sedation Dentistry

IV sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, is when medication is given through an IV to a  patient to provide increased  relaxation. The level of sedation and side effects vary with the different types of sedation used. Two common types of sedation in dentistry are happy  gas and IV sedation . Happy  gas (nitrous oxide) provides mild sedation, while IV sedation (sleep dentistry) can provide deeper sedation.. General anaethesia is another option, but this is done in a hospital setting as it renders the patient fully unconscious

What You Need to Know Before Opting for Sedation Dentistry

Most patients fall asleep under IV sedation and it needs to be performed by an anesthetist or specially trained dentist.Happy gas can be performed and monitored by your general dentist while they perform your treatment. . The effects of sedation typically wear off over time.

 Happy gas is a form of inhaled sedation and does not put you to sleep but helps you relax during your treatment. You need to inhale the gas, and your feelings of anxiousness usually begin to dissolve away within just a few minutes. This is a milder sedation method than IV sedation. Combining a sedative with  happy gas is not recommended. Therefore, most patients only go this route when dealing with single or more minor treatments.  

Related Post: 5 Signs That You Are A Good Candidate For Sedation Dentistry


The primary advantage of having  sedation is to help relax you and decrease your anxiety while having a dental procedure. You will be conscious but relaxed until the procedure is over. .

Your procedure may also feel like it went by faster than expected. Time can feel like it slows  down when the body is responding to fear. Sedation relaxes you  instead of allowing your body  to run with heightened sensitivity.. If you are nervous or anxious about having dental treatment, it can be a relief to know that you have the option to have your treatment under sedation. 

For many, the fear of pain and discomfort prolongs the action of seeking dental treatment. Preventative dentistry is crucial, and the benefits of having the option of sedation for dental; treatment are clear for those who might avoid it otherwise. 


The stronger the sedation the longer the recovery time before you feel back to your normal self. Happy gas can take minutes to hours to wear off, while IV sedation can take 24-48 hours. Over this time you can not drive or make any important decision. 

The most common side effects  patients report from having sedation are nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, and sleepiness. IV sedation causes the body to relax, it can also slow breathing. Your anesthetist will monitor this throughout your procedure to make sure you are breathing properly. 

Iv sedation can also cause an amnesic effect and you may not remember your procedure or recovery at the practice. IV sedation also impacts your decision making skills so you should not drive or make important decisions following your sedation. For these reasons you must have a career to stay with you in recovery, drive you home and stay with you for the night.  Any dental procedure  with sedation poses risks.Cardiopulmonary responses, such as respiratory depression, hypoventilation and hypotension, are all concerns. You must check your medical history before committing to getting into a dental chair and undergoing any form of sedation.. Your dentist and anesthetist will also take a detailed medical history before administering any form of sedation as it can interact with a number of medications leading to possible complications.  

Further Insight: 10 Reasons You Should Consider Sleep Dentistry

Proceed with Sleep Dentistry Today!

With your treatment under local anesthetic your dental procedure does not need to be an anxiety provoking experience. Reduce your  anxiety and fear of dental pain  by undergoing sedation during your treatment. Whether you wish to be asleep or awake, our team is ready to help you with your dental needs.

Consult further with us, or book your appointment here