Types of Dental Sedatives

Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is a common dental technique used primarily by dentists to help lessen dental anxiety and dental phobia in patients. There are a variety of dental sedation which can be administered to patients who doesn’t experience pain in their dental treatment some of which will be discussed below.

Oral Sedatives

Intravenous (IV)Sedation

This is the simplest form of dental sedation. This are oral pills like diazepam which are given to patients the night before the expected dentistry procedure or at most thirty minutes or an hour before the dental appointment depending on the extent of the patient’s dental anxiety. Nevertheless, oral sedatives are not pain relievers and will only assist patients with their anxiety problems.

This is the type of sedation administered through the blood system of the patient during a dental treatment. Similar with oral sedatives, it doesn’t get rid of the pain but only help relieve the patient with his or her anxiety problems. Commonly used drugs for Intranvenous (IV) sedation include benzodiazepine, opioids, barbiturates and propofol.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

This type of sedation is administered through conscious inhalation of nitrous oxide gas also known to many as laughing gas to help induce a state of relaxation. It is safe and offers a little pain relieving effect to the patient. It is also quick-acting and is very effective for mild to moderate cases of anxiety.

General Anesthesia

This type of sedation makes use of anesthetic in order to make the patient unconscious while treatment is performed. Once the medicine takes effect, the patient will completely become unaware of what is happening around his or her environment. This is recommended to patients so the doctor can facilitate complete control of the dental treatment without the annoyance of pain from the patient. Nevertheless a few side effects may be experienced by the patient after the application of this sedation like sore throat, nausea, vomiting or incisional pain.

Degrees of Dental Sedation

The above mentioned types of sedation will offer different degrees of sedation which includes:


This is the method of inducing light sedation but the most common type of sedation which provides this degree of sedation is nitrous oxide sedation, which is administered through inhalation.

Conscious Sedation

This refers to administered sedation which keeps the patient awake all throughout the dental treatment. He or she will be able to respond to commands but will remain in a complete state of extreme relaxation. This degree of sedation can be experienced with Intravenous (IV) sedation and nitrous oxide sedation.

Deep Sedation

This degree of sedation runs between the conscious and unconscious form of dental sedation. The patient will lack the capacity to respond to commands very consistently and may even need assistance with breathing because his or her internal organs primary the heart and the lungs may also be overly relaxed.


This degree of sedation is offered by general anesthesia type of sedation which will require assisted breathing equipment for the patient because he or she will completely become unable to respond to any commands. Nevertheless this is only given to very complicated oral surgery operations.

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