6 Things to Consider Before Choosing Dental Sedation

If going to the dentist to have a cavity filled or to have some more in-depth dental treatment gives you the willies, you may be considering dental sedation to calm your nerves.

Sedation definitely can be a tool to help make your dental procedure more comfortable and less nerve wracking for you. Thousands of dentists across the country routinely use some form of dental sedation therapy on their patients every day in the U.S. And they do so safely and will no adverse side effects.

Still, sedation therapy does come with some risks, Read below for six things you should consider before deciding to undergo dental sedation therapy.

First, let’s clear up a big misconception about sedation: you don’t actually fall asleep; you’re usually awake enough to respond to the dentist’s commands (“open, please”), but are very relaxed and probably won’t have any memory of the procedure afterwards. You should be able to return to your everyday activities in just a few hours.


Sedation therapy doesn’t see you in a deep sleep (as this infant is enjoying), but puts you in a relaxed state, but still able to follow a dentist’s instructions.

There are a few different levels of sedation therapy:

  • Minimal, in which you’re relaxed but awake
  • Moderate (once called “conscious sedation”), in which you probably won’t remember much about your dental appointment
  • Deep, in which you’re on the tip of consciousness, but still relatively awake
  • General anesthesia, in which you are completely unconscious (general anesthesia often is used in medical operations.)

Six things to consider before choosing a sedation therapy:

  1. Using sedation entails using a pharmaceutical agent. You need to understand this thoroughly and weigh the risks against the benefits. Talk to your dentist in-depth before agreeing to sedation therapy.
  2. Talk to your dentist about the possible side effects and adverse reactions. As mentioned above, weigh the pros against the risks.
  3. Be in good health if undergoing sedation. That is, if you have a bad cold or flu, postpone the procedure until you’ve regained your health.
  4. Even if you’re going to have a mild sedation, if you’ve never undergone sedation therapy, it’s wise to have someone available to take you home after the procedure, just in case. Most sedation therapies allow you to return to your daily routine quickly. But some people are more affected by different therapies than others. Have a back-up plan for getting home.
  5. Follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter regarding self-care before and after treatment.
  6. If you feel that you are experiencing adverse effects after the procedure, or if you’re still groggy long after the dentist says you should be recovered, contact the dentist immediately.

Dental sedation therapies are used by thousands of dental patients every day in the U.S. with no adverse side effects. Chances are, you’ll be able to use this treatment, too.

If interested in sedation therapy in the Plano area, contact Dr. Darren Dickson by phone for more information.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

What Our Patients Are Saying

Call Today to Make an Appointment

Latest from Our Blog See More