Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry: The new thing

Sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry as it is commonly called is the newest thing at your dental office. It is what many people that are otherwise too scared to see a dentist have been waiting for. A certified person will either give you nitrous oxide, pill or an injection. This will take the patient to a state of almost sleeping. For most patients the whole procedure, sometimes up to 3 hours, will go by in 5 seconds. When done correctly by a board certified person this could be one of the best alternatives for people that are scared to go to dentist.


IV Sedation

Sedation through IV, otherwise known as Intravenous Sedation (IV sedation), is a well controlled method. I personally have gotten sedation for my surgeries and was content about my decision. During IV sedation a certified doctor will examine all of your medical history as well as connecting to you many medical grade equipment such as pulse-oximeter, ECG machine (electrocardiogram), capnograph, and non-invasive blood pressure machine. The readings must be recorded. Depending on the office and the practicing professional, you may see some of the newest equipment that may otherwise be seen only in hospital settings.


When to use sedation

Sedation dentistry could be used in implant placements, extractions, and other oral surgery. It will work also for multiple procedures which are non surgical such as operative dentistry otherwise known as fillings, crowns and bridges, and even cleanings.

  • If you are healthy and don’t have any issues with your lungs or heart with no prior medical history then you are a class I (ideal candidate)
  • If you had some issues with your heart, lung, or have previous medical history, in a nut shell you are a class II (ok to do sedation, most population fall into this category).
  • Apprehensive patients that may hit a dentists hands or pull away are the best candidates, as well as stressed, scared, and/our fearful patients.


Its not for everyone

Persons with certain medical issues are not recommended to have IV sedation performed. Please always consult your doctor before any operations.


Sedation and children

In general sedation is not recommended for kids. I personally do not want to sedate children and will advise parents to NOT do so unless absolutely necessary.

If a child is uncooperative and requires urgent dental work the best options are to use general anesthesia in hospital or milder sedation forms in a dental office setting. I would recommend the latter.

If a child’s oral health is on the verge of breaking and/or is in a poor condition, and if the child is severely uncooperative then sedation is the best alternative.

Obviously children’s lungs are different in size from adults and consequently could hold less reserve O2 oxygen, a crucial part of all sedation dentistry. You should always consult a professional, but at the end of the day it is a personal preference not a mandate.

As a father of two children I always personally look into all information first, get a second opinion and will decide from there.



For more information please call or visit one of our offices in Maryland or Virginia.

— K. Mehrabian, DDS, FICOI