Not everyone enjoys visiting the dentist, but for some patients, the anxiety of a dental appointment can prevent them from seeking necessary care. To help ensure that all patients get the care they need in a calm and stress-free environment West 85th Dental offers sedation dentistry.

Do you think you could benefit from sedation dentistry? Talk to your dentist. Book an appointment today.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves using sedatives to help reduce patient anxiety and allows nervous patients to relax during dental procedures that would normally cause them emotional distress.

Sedation dentistry can help with dental phobias and extreme anxiety by using medication to help anxious patients relax and get the care they need. Some forms of sedation are so effective that even the details and smells of the procedure are forgotten.

No matter what form of sedation dentistry you choose it is imperative that you be accompanied by a caregiver. Depending on the form of sedation your dentist gives you, you may need to take your sedative the night before your procedure, which means you will need someone to drive you to your appointment.

All sedation dentistry patients should avoid driving after their appointments.

Who Could Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can be an excellent choice for patients who suffer from a dental phobia or severe enough dental anxiety that it prevents them from seeing their dentist for regular exams and cleanings, as well as necessary dental procedures.

However, sedation dentistry can also be a good option for individuals who:

  • Require a large amount of dental work
  • Have a very low pain threshold
  • Have extremely sensitive teeth
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have trouble sitting still during dental procedures

Individuals who are obese, or have obstructive sleep apnea, should speak to their dentist and family doctor before considering sedation dentistry because they have a greater chance of developing complications as a result of undergoing sedation dentistry.

Children with severe dental anxiety or a dental phobia may also benefit from sedation dentistry, but parents should confer with their child’s dentist and pediatrician before making a decision.

What Types of Sedation Dentistry Are Available?

West 85th Dental offers a variety of sedation dentistry methods to suit your needs. These include:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas”, is a mild sedative that is delivered through a nose hood. Nitrous oxide is administered throughout the procedure and is used to elevate your mood and produce an overall sense of well being, reducing pain and relieving anxiety.

Nitrous oxide has very few side effects, though some patients may experience a tingling or numb sensation. Nitrous oxide is incredibly safe and has been used in dental procedures for many years.

Anxiolysis is a mild oral sedative that allows you to relax while remaining awake and lets you retain the ability to answer questions and follow instructions during the procedure. Anxiolysis can be administered on its own or may be combined with nitrous oxide.

Oral conscious sedation is a form of moderate sedation dentistry. The patient takes the prescribed sedative before their appointment so that the sedative has time to take effect before the procedure begins.

Oral conscious sedation do not cause sleep but instead dull the senses. This means that patients remain conscious during the procedure, but typically do not remember the pain, smells, noises, or other details associated with their procedure.

The Sedation Process

Before the Procedure

Depending on the form of sedation you are administered you may be provided with an oral sedative to take before your appointment. In order to ensure you are appropriately sedated, please follow any specific instructions provided by your dentist or dental team regarding when you should take your sedative. If you are receiving nitrous oxide your dental team will ensure that you are appropriately sedated before your procedure begins.

You may be drowsy after your appointment, so you will need to arrange for a responsible adult to escort you home safely. Children who undergo sedation dentistry should be accompanied by two adults. You should arrange to take the entire day off work, and you should limit your post-appointment activities for the remainder of the day.

All Patients

Your faculties and abilities could be impaired for up to twenty-four hours after your procedure, so you should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or make any important decisions or judgments during this time period. You should also abstain from alcohol.

On your way home from the appointment, you should have someone assist you while getting into and out of the car, and while you are going up or down stairs. Always make sure you stand up slowly. If you lie down make sure that you sit up, then stand up slowly when getting up to avoid any sudden drops in blood pressure. A sudden drop in blood pressure can make you dizzy and increase your chances of falling.

If you received local anesthetic during your procedure, your ability to judge hot and cold may be impaired. Avoid consuming hot foods and drinks, such as coffee, until the numbness has completely worn off. This will help you avoid burns.

If you experience any unusual reactions, you should contact our office immediately at (403) 246-5545. If our office is closed proceed to the nearest drop in clinic or emergency room.


Sedation can leave us feeling strange, and children, in particular, may chew the insides of their cheeks, their tongue, or their lips after being sedated. This chewing can cause serious damage, and as such children should remain under observation by a responsible adult until the sedation has worn off.

Depending on the nature of the procedure or procedures performed under sedation your dentist and dental team will provide you with specific care instructions. Please follow all instructions accurately.