3 Types of Sedation Dentistry: Face Your Fears

sedation dentistry

Many people experience dental phobia in the moments leading up to, and during, a dental appointment. Whether it’s the uncomfortable noise of the dental tools or overwhelming fear of sharp objects. Fortunately for those who can hardly stand entering a dentist’s office, three different types of sedation dentistry have been founded to ease those fears. Each type has a different reason for use and benefit that take the patient through the dental procedures as smoothly as possible. Below are short descriptions of each kind.


Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is used mainly to ease dental anxiety. It has an almost instant effect on the patient to quickly relax them for minor cleanings and mild procedures. Nitrous oxide is one of the earliest forms of sedation dentistry used by dentists. Dentists place a mask over the patient’s nose that pushes a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen that quickly takes effect after several steady breaths. As soon as the mask is removed, the side effects go away and you are able to walk out without difficulty. Some patients take extra time to let their body readjust, but overall it is a quick and easy way to relax the body and mind of someone with dental phobia.

Oral Sedation

Exactly as it sounds, oral sedation is a pill given orally to send patients into a “less conscious” state. Although the patient is not completely out of it, there is little to no memory of a procedure and lasts a short period of time. Better known as conscious sedation, patients usually claim they fall asleep completely, and while some might fall asleep naturally from relaxation, the pill itself does not put you under. Not only does oral sedation dentistry benefit the patient who feels less anxiety and dental phobia, it also allows the dentist to work unbothered, usually leading to a shorter procedure time.

IV Sedation

Otherwise known as deep conscious sedation, IV sedation puts medication straight into the bloodstream. During the procedure the patient is completely asleep and unaware of the dentist’s actions. This can be used for any procedure if your dental phobia is uncontrollable, but in most situations, dentists reserve this total unconscious sedation dentistry technique for long oral procedures or particularly difficult ones like wisdom teeth removal or root canals. The patient wakes up with no memory of the procedure and is usually not completely functional for hours afterwards.


The fear of dentists is fairly common in American society, but can be easily combated if you trust your dentist. Using a sedation dentistry method is best for extracting your anxiety for a relaxed dental appointment. If you know you are overdue for a dentist appointment but are too afraid, contact Greenspoint Dental in the Houston, Texas area. We provide sedation dentistry of all types to aid your oral health and anxiety needs.