Patients should take some simple steps before undergoing sedation dentistry to ensure they enjoy the safest, most relaxing procedure possible.

Before arriving at our office for sedation, patients should:

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid eating or drinking 6-8 hours before the dental procedure.
  • Avoid taking any medications before the procedure (unless previously approved by your dentist).
  • Alert your dentist of any significant changes in medical history.
  • Bring an escort with you to our office.


Kinds of Sedation Most Dentists Use

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide provides mild but effective dental sedation. A blend of nitrogen and oxygen is delivered through a mask over the nose and carefully controlled. If you don’t like how you feel at any time, though, you can remove the mask, making this an excellent choice for those who are afraid of being “under.” You will remain awake and responsive but feel profoundly relaxed and unafraid.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves a pill such as Halcion or Valium. You might feel mild to moderately sedated, depending on the dose. Oral sedation dentistry will not knock you out, but you might doze lightly in the dental chair. You will know what is happening and be able to communicate with your dentist and staff but may not remember much about the procedure afterward.

Oral sedation can leave you feeling groggy all day, so you will need to bring someone to your appointment to drive you home.


Sedation dentistry is not right for everyone, and your personal health history or current medication list may preclude certain types of sedation. Your dentist will thoroughly review your options with you and help you make the right choice for your situation. Note that many patients choose different levels of sedation at different times, depending on their current anxiety level and what procedure they are having done.

Have questions? Contact our office!