What Are Sedatives That Dentists Use and How Do They Work?

Visiting the dentist can be scary, and treatments can be painful. Luckily, there are many processes, such as local anesthesia, that can help with these things for a more comfortable or quicker appointment.

However, there are rare cases where local anesthesia is not enough to make someone pain-free during the treatment. In fact, some people have developed a fear of visiting the dentist and neglect doing so for years because of fear of pain. Yet, a visit to the dentist is very important.

This is why some may just end up asking to be sedated. There are various kinds of sedation used by dentists and depending on what a patient needs or requests for.

In this article, we will talk about the different types of sedation used by dentists on some patients. Read on to learn more.

Nitrous Oxide

This is a very common type of sedation, also known as laughing gas. Using nitrous oxide helps put the patient in a more relaxed and calm state, removing the tension.

While this does not put them to sleep, it gets patients at ease. They end up having a very euphoric high that it even makes the whole experience enjoyable for them.

The patient then becomes completely groggy, but active and responsive. They are wide awake the entire time, and you will be able to talk to them.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia makes patients experience a complete loss of consciousness. They will not be able to feel or see anything the entire time. This is perfect for those who are afraid and will have to undergo big procedures like wisdom tooth removal.

This anesthesia can be administered by a dental anesthesiologist. They will monitor all vitals and ensure that the patient stays safe throughout the entire process.

As the patient is unconscious, they will be unable to respond or feel the whole thing. This prevents future anxiety for them when having to visit the dentist again.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is another sedative for patients. They are pushed into a state of sleepiness, but maintain consciousness the entire time. This means that they are responsive, but unlikely to remember or feel anything during the whole procedure.

IV sedation also allows patients to have a shorter recovery time. Furthermore, it has different levels of sedation, so it keeps patients from being anxious on different levels. It then allows an overall comfortable experience for them.

Sedative for Patients

The question now arises about who can be sedated throughout their dental experience. Well, anyone can actually request for sedation, especially if they are feeling anxious. However, if it is something that you can’t handle, then sedation is not advisable.

Nothing is to be embarrassed about if you feel anxious during a dental appointment. Just make sure to talk to your dentist first if it is something that you are considering getting done during your next appointment.

Make sure to also let your dentist know of your medical history before getting sedated. This is important because it could affect the administration of the sedative.


Overall, it is a normal thing to experience anxiety, especially before a big dental procedure. However, if your anxiety is reaching a level where it is out of your control, then you might want to consider getting sedated for your appointment. It is nothing to be ashamed of and is a completely normal emotion.

If you are looking for a dentist in Holladay, Utah, then you are in luck. Smart Dental Care offers various dental services, and we would be glad to answer any questions about dental procedures. Get in touch with us today for all your dental needs!