Can You Request Dental Sedation While You Get a Filling?

Getting a filling is among the more common kinds of dental procedures. You might need a filling if you have a cavity or tooth decay, although there are other reasons like tooth fractures or other damage. Fillings help prevent cavities from getting worse and leading to advanced decay. This can result in permanent tooth loss or serious infections. If you have dental anxiety, you might feel nervous about getting a filling. Knowing what to expect from this procedure and what kinds of dental sedation might be available can help you feel less anxious.

What to Expect from Dental Filling Procedures

What to Expect from Dental Filling ProceduresDental fillings don’t take long. In fact, they typically only take a few minutes overall, but you should expect to be at the dentist’s office longer. Before placing fillings, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the part of your mouth being treated, including your teeth and gums. This helps ensure that you don’t experience discomfort while getting fillings. After numbing your mouth, your dentist will then use a dental drill to remove the decay inside the affected tooth or teeth. When the decayed material has been removed, your dentist will replace it with a dental filling.

After getting a filling, expect your mouth to feel numb for about a few hours as the local anesthetic wears off. Follow your dentist’s instructions for care, such as taking over-the-counter medication for soreness or avoiding certain foods at first to prevent damage to the filling and allow healing. You might have some soreness in the affected area once the local anesthetic completely wears off. You might also have some sensitivity in these teeth, but this is only temporary.

Dental Sedation Options

Dental Sedation OptionsAlthough getting a filling is a safe and common procedure, this might not mean much when you have dental anxiety. However, it’s important to make sure you get fillings as needed in order to protect your teeth from severe decay and other problems. When you feel scared, keep in mind that dental sedation is an option. You can request dental sedation when you need to get a filling. Sedation is offered in different methods, such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Your dentist can help you determine which type is right for you, which depends on how severe your anxiety is and other factors, such as underlying health conditions.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, works quickly as you inhale it through a mask. This gas also wears off quickly when you stop inhaling it. Since it wears off fast, you should be able to drive home after your procedure. If nitrous oxide doesn’t help you feel relaxed enough, you might do better with oral sedation or IV sedation.

With oral sedation, you take a prescribed sedative before your appointment as directed. You’ll be conscious while getting your filling, but you can expect to feel relaxed. This sedation can take awhile to wear off, so you’ll to have someone else drive you home.

IV sedation involves getting a sedative intravenously during your procedure. You might feel sleepy once the sedative starts to work, but you won’t be unconscious. This type of sedation typically works more quickly than oral sedation, since the sedative goes right into your bloodstream. You’ll need a ride home after getting a filling when you have this type of sedation.

Candidates for Dental Sedation

Your dentist can recommend the best type of dental sedation when you need a filling. Sedation is generally safe for most patients, although those with certain health conditions might have a higher risk of complications. For example, those who are pregnant might not be considered good candidates, while those with allergies to medications used in oral and IV sedation may only receive nitrous oxide. Those with sleep apnea are generally not considered good candidates for IV sedation, while those with respiratory diseases might not be able to have oral sedation. It’s important to share your complete medical history with your dentist to make sure you receive the safest option for you.


If you need dental care but feel nervous about the procedures, please contact Dental Brothers. Our dentists in Phoenix offer dental sedation to help ease dental anxiety for fillings and other dental procedures. And we’re happy to work with you to make sure your visit is as comfortable as possible.

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