Understanding Dental Sedation

While there are almost innumerable reasons why you should visit your dentist, there are also several reasons why many people don’t. Among them is a substantial level of fear or anxiety associated with dental offices and/or dental care. If you rarely visit your dentist due to dental fear or phobia, or if you hesitate to undergo a specific type of treatment, then dental sedation may be the key to helping you relax enough to receive the care your smile needs.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

What’s the difference between sedation and anesthesia?

Unlike sedation, which helps calm nerves and alleviate anxiety, local anesthesia is administered to numb pain receptors to drastically reduce physical discomfort. Depending on the nature of your procedure, we may use a combination of local anesthesia and an appropriate form of dental sedation to help you relax and remain comfortable before and during your procedure.

Is dental sedation safe?

Dental sedation is safe for patients of all ages. However, before recommending it, we will thoroughly review your condition and medical history, including current conditions and medications (if applicable). Whether you choose nitrous oxide or oral sedation, you will remain aware and cognizant, able to respond and react to stimuli, but in a relaxed, slightly euphoric state.

Which method is best for me?

A number of factors should be considered when choosing between nitrous oxide and oral sedation.

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, creates a mild sedative state that dissipates almost immediately after your procedure is competed. It is typically suggested for patients with mild to moderate anxiety.

Oral sedation may be recommended for more intense feelings of stress and anxiety, or for more extensive restorative dentistry treatments. The sedative is taken as a pill the night before your visit, and again shortly before your procedure.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.