Do People Dream During Dental Sedation?

Do People Dream During Dental Sedation?

Dental fear and anxiety prevent millions of Americans from going to the dentist and getting the dental treatment they need. Some 17 percent of children, ages 5-19, and 32 percent of adults have untreated dental issues often due to fear. This is where sedation dentistry can play a big role in health and wellness. Dental sedation and anesthesia help potential patients to get past their anxiety and get the dental care they need.

A lot of people wonder what they can expect during sedation. Will they feel “high?” Will it knock them out? Can they go to work or school after their dental procedure? It’s common to have questions if you’ve never received sedation during an appointment. Depending on the type of sedation you receive, you may be more or less aware during the procedure. Does this mean you’ll dream? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

What is Sedation Dentistry?  Sedation dentistry uses medication to help a patient relax when they come in for a procedure. It can involve a few different options, from inhalation sedation like nitrous oxide to light oral sedation using Valium, Halcion, or Versed. In some cases, IV sedation is used for more complex dental procedures like fillings, an extraction, a root canal, or a crown.  General anesthesia is a rare option used in extremely invasive procedures or for patients who need more than IV sedation provides.

Sedation dentistry often includes local anesthesia as a numbing agent to relieve pain. This also allows your dentist to more easily complete the dental work you need. Sedation dentistry helps patients feel more comfortable and accepting of the dental care and treatment. It can be used for children and even adults who have avoided dental situations for years due to anxiety.  It also helps patients who experience difficulty sitting still for long periods of time or those whose procedure may take a long time or be invasive.

It’s important to discuss all your options and any health considerations with your dentist to determine the best course of action for your situation. Some forms of sedation might be counter indicative and/or not recommended for you, based on our medical condition or other mitigating factors. Some dentists only offer sedation dentistry options if the procedure will be performed in an operating room with proper medical personnel.

Does Sedation Dentistry Cause Dreams?

Does Sedation Dentistry Cause Dreams?  Administered nitrous oxide is a form of sleep dentistry. It’s called laughing gas because it offers relaxing and sedation in a way that is usually considered safe and effective. When nitrous oxide was first discovered, people would inhale it to make themselves feel silly or as entertainment. While a dental patient may feel happy or even “loopy” while using laughing gas, it’s unlikely that you will dream during conscious sedation, although everyone’s experience is slightly different.

IV sedation can include Midazolam, Propofol, Dexmedetomidine, and Ketamine. Depending on the type of IV sedation and/or anesthesia, you could experience some dream-like symptoms. Some 22 percent of patients report a kind of “dreamy” experience. It’s not clear exactly what causes these dreams (age and gender appear to be factors), but most reported a pleasant experience.  It is highly likely you won’t remember what you may dream, if you have them at all, only a “dreamy” feeling.


When you come in to Dental Brothers, we’ll discuss your specific situation. We’ll ask about your medical history and discuss your options for sedation dentistry. This is done to help you feel comfortable and safe throughout the process.

Our first concern is for your comfort and safety during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand this adds to fear and anxiety so we are happy to discuss options for sedation. Some of our patients do feel a bit dreamy when they receive IV sedation. Our actual goal is to give you a comfortable, pain-free experience.

Come in to discuss your dental concerns and we’ll offer suggestions for how we can help ease your pain, fear, and discomfort. We’ll help you relax, and we’ll address every issue with our fast and reliable dental care treatments. Call today to find out what we can do for you!