Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

concept image of patient with sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is the practice of using medications to help calm patients during routine dental procedures. This approach isn’t right for everyone, but it can be an excellent choice if dental anxiety prevents you from seeking appropriate medical care.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

These are the basics if you think sedation dentistry in Arcadia may be the right choice for you.

The Purpose of Sedation Dentistry

Proper dental care is an important aspect of maintaining your physical health, yet it is often put to the side. There are a myriad of reasons why you may not seek regular dental care, but one of the most common reasons is dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety describes the nerves or fear that many people experience in the days leading up to a dentist’s appointment all the way through the appointment itself. Dental anxiety is often manageable, but there are more severe cases that could cause an individual to avoid the dentist or a necessary procedure.

Sedation dentistry uses an individualized, medicated approach to help keep these patients calm. There’s no judgment involved. Your dentist in Arcadia simply wants to make sure that you have access to the healthcare you need, and sedation dentistry makes that possible for a lot of people.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a number of different approaches available, making sedation dentistry more accessible. These are the three primary forms of sedation dentistry.


You may be given a pill or liquid medication to relax you. Triazolam and midazolam are two of several possibilities. The medications used in oral sedation can make you pretty sleepy, and you are going to be a bit out of it for a while following your appointment.


Nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas, is another common form of sedation dentistry. In comparison to the other approaches, it’s a relatively mild form of sedation. Mostly it just has a calming effect, but your dentist may slightly increase the dosage if necessary. When finished, we flush the nitrous out of your system by switching the mask to produce pure oxygen. You should feel like yourself in a matter of minutes.


Intravenous sedation can work directly injected for a most thorough and longer-lasting form of sedation. General anesthesia almost never finds use for sedation dentistry unless necessary. However, this may be an option in some cases. You will need a ride home after receiving any form of IV sedation.

Talking to Your Dentist About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is not available at every dental office, but it is becoming more common. If you’re experiencing severe anxiety and avoiding the dentist due to your fear, then call their office to see if sedation dentistry is available.

If that is an option at your local dentist’s office, then you can start to have that conversation with your dentist. Depending on availability, you may even be able to meet through a virtual appointment to discuss your current needs and concerns.

Undergoing Sedation Dentistry

As long as you are healthy enough to safely use one of the options available through your dental care provider, they will likely make those options available to you. With that said, your dental care provider may require you to try nitrous oxide first before using a stronger form of sedation because it is very low risk.

Regardless of what you choose, each type of sedation comes with risks. While the risks are relatively low, you will want to listen to your dentist’s instructions and take all of the necessary steps to reduce the potential for risks during your sedation dentistry appointment.