Is Dental Sedation Safe?

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

When you’re afraid of going to the dentist or you need a lot of work done, dental sedation can be the key to having an easier and better experience during your procedure. Sedation can be administered in many forms from laughing gas to deep sedation. But if you’ve never been sedated at the dentist’s office, you may wonder whether it’s safe or not.

The simple answer is that for most patients, dental sedation is a safe option. Here’s what you need to know.

Making Sure Dental Sedation is Safe for You

Making Sure Dental Sedation is Safe for YouWhile many patients may want dental sedation for their next appointment, not everyone will be a good candidate for every sedation method. Most patients handle nitrous oxide with no problem, and of all the sedation options, it’s the safest for the most amount of people. But once you begin to consider oral sedation or sleep dentistry, the potential risks increase.

  • Make sure your dentist is well-trained and experienced in the form of dental sedation you’re considering. Ask how often they’ve performed this type of sedation and what happens if something goes wrong.
  • Your dentist should take a thorough medical history and ask about any medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements. Some medical problems and medications do not react well to dental sedation.
  • Your dentist should be able to tell you the appropriate dose for you based on your health and age, and what will happen if the sedation doesn’t work for you. Not every patient reacts the same way to the same dosage.
  • You should be told the potential risks involved based on your circumstances, and all of your questions should be answered.
  • While you’re sedated, your dentist and the staff should monitor your vital signs at all times — blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels — to make sure you’re okay. The office should also have oxygen and drugs that reverse sedation on hand if you need it. Only trained and licensed personnel should administer the sedation medication.

While dental sedation is safe for the majority of patients, anything can happen. A good dentist will use the information you provide to figure out the safest sedation method for you. They’ll also keep you safe while you’re sedated.

Everyone Responds Differently to Dental Sedation

Everyone Responds Differently to Dental SedationWhile your dentist will have an expectation of how you should respond to sedation, based on your history, age, and weight, the reality is that not everyone has to the same reaction. Some people need very little sedation and they’re knocked out. Others can take a full dose and not feel the procedure, but be awake for the entire thing. Still, others don’t respond well to nitrous oxide or feel no change in anxiety or nervousness when they take oral sedation.

Because of this, your dentist should have a plan in place and know what the safest options are for you if you have a less-than-typical reaction. Since it’s unknowable until you’re sedated, ask your dentist what they’ll do and what your options will be if this happens to you.

Which Sedation Option is Safest?

Which Sedation Option is Safest?The safest dental sedation for you is based on your medical history, the medications you’re taking, and many other factors. In general, nitrous oxide is considered the least invasive and the safest for most patients. Oral sedation consists of anti-anxiety medication and, for many patients, is perfectly safe. IV or sleep sedation involves being semi-conscious and therefore comes with the most possible risk. But when administered carefully by a qualified dentist can be a safe option for many patients.


In general, dental sedation is perfectly safe for the vast majority of patients. It’s normal to feel unsure about a medication or procedure you’ve never experienced, so it’s important to ask questions. If you need a dentist in Phoenix or Mesa to help ease your fears or to perform invasive dental work, contact Dental Brothers. Ask us about your sedation options. It may be exactly what you need to have a beautiful smile and healthy teeth.