Can You Get Dental Sedation with Teeth Whitening?

Every time you turn on the television, or even watch popular YouTube videos these days it seems like all you see is glowing white teeth. It can make you wonder if those people brush and floss six times a day. More often than not, they have gotten their teeth whitened. Usually, it has been done professionally and not just with an at-home kit or fortified toothpaste. Here at Dental Brothers, we provide teeth whitening as just one of many dental services. But the experience isn’t necessarily the same for every patient. We carefully assess what you need as a patient. For some, dental sedation is necessary even during a teeth whitening procedure.

Do I Need Dental Sedation?

Do I Need Dental Sedation?Dental anxiety is a real problem that can keep people away from the dentist for years. The longer someone goes without seeing the dentist, the more likely challenges will surface at the dentist’s office. For those who experience mild anxiety about a dentist visit, nitrous oxide will often be more than enough to settle your nerves. However, there can be some discomfort involved, which may be felt even stronger in patients with severe dental anxiety.

We measure this anxiety through Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale, which is a rating system developed by Dr. Norman Corah in 1969. It asks four questions to gauge your anxiousness about dental procedures. Those who score on the higher side may be asked additional questions for a more precise idea of dental anxiety.  Based on your responses, we can offer options to keep you calm and help you get through your teeth whitening procedure.

What to Expect From Teeth Whitening

What to Expect From Teeth WhiteningTeeth whitening is an extremely popular service among dental patients. We provide the service in line with the recommendations of the American Dental Association by using carbamide peroxide, one third the strength of hydrogen peroxide. This penetrates your teeth’s enamel and removes stains discoloring your teeth, whether from foods with strong pigments, coffee drinking, or smoking. In addition to carbamide peroxide, light may also be added in order to speed up the process. A treatment typically lasts 30 minutes. We use shade assessments to show you how many shades your teeth improve in a single session.

Different levels of sedation are available depending on your anxiety level. For many, nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) is enough to relax them to the point where they can get through the procedure. Others may take anxiety medication, such as Halcion or Valium. It will render a drowsy state, but it won’t necessarily evoke full sleep. IV sedation is another available option. It allows for the easy monitoring and adjustment of sedation during a procedure. We use this type of sedation for patients who feel extremely stressed and fearful. You are fully awake, but you may not remember what happens later. Only under full general anesthesia would you become unconscious for the procedure, unlikely for a teeth whitening.

Because pain can occur in the nerves of the teeth, you receive numbing medication along with any dental sedation. If any deeper form of sedation is used, we take care to monitor your vital signs as well as the procedure to assure your safety.


Whether you visit to the dentist for a standard check-up, for teeth whitening, or for any other oral procedure, you should feel comfortable. We are here to ultimately ease your discomfort and improve your overall health through proper oral health care. At  Dental Brothers we do everything we can to provide compassionate and quality dental services so that you feel confident about coming back for your check-ups and whenever the need arises. To learn more about all the services we provide, including teeth whitening, contact us today.

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