Selecting Sedation for Dental Procedures

Selecting Sedation for Dental Procedures

Used to help put a patient at ease, sedation comes in various forms. It all depends on the treatment needed and the patient’s needs. Below are some circumstances when sedation may be advised by a skilled dentist.

Mildly Fearful Patients

Selecting Sedation for Dental Procedures

Anyone who is slightly fearful of oral procedures and treatment might opt for conscious sedation.

  • Light Sedation: A patient who prefers to be totally conscious may select light sedation. This allows you to remain relaxed while still awake.
  • Moderate Sedation: For patients who prefer to be in a kind of “twilight zone” (conscious but not remembering much about the procedure), moderate sedation may be beneficial. While still able to communicate, they may feel groggy and have difficulty speaking without slurring their words. Some may fall asleep, but can easily be woken.

Extremely Fearful or Nervous Patients


While most forms of conscious sedation used in Canada are considered light or moderate, another form known as “deep sedation” can alleviate stress and anxiety. It places a person in a semi or totally unconscious state during dental work.

After waking, the effects of the drug wear off slowly and recovery from the sedation generally takes longer.

Primary Methods to Administer Sedation

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  • Inhalation: With nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” a patient receives the sedative through a mask placed over the nasal passages. As soon as the procedure is over, the gas almost immediately wears off with few side effects or recovery time.
  • Orally: Sedation can also be administered through ingesting a pill. Reaction to oral medication can be light to moderate, depending on the strength of the dose.

A patient may feel sleepy and the wearing off of heavy sedation may take longer than lighter forms. Patients are advised to have someone drive them home after treatment, and perhaps stay with them for several hours.  Occasionally, nausea and vomiting may occur.

Discussing your fears or reservations with a caring dentist at Cosmo Dental Centre will help you or a family member get the quality dental work or maintenance needed. If sedation may be useful, our doctors will discuss the best options with you to suit your needs. At Cosmo Dental Centre, take the first step on the road to dental health! Call us today at (519) 659-2767.

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