Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Lots of people dread going to the doctor and the dentist. In fact, roughly one in five people reports feeling nervous about an upcoming dental appointment. But if you want to stay healthy, regular preventive visits go a long way. 

That’s why, at our office in Austin, Texas, Dr. AnnMarie Olson offers sedation dentistry to help even the most nervous patients relax. If you’d like to feel a little more comfortable in the dentist’s chair, sedation dentistry could be for you. 

But first, you’ll want to make sure that it’s safe. So let’s take a look at the different types of dental sedation Dr. Olson offers and the safety level of each. 

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

A longstanding, safe form of dental sedation, laughing gas makes you feel relaxed — and maybe even a little giddy — by fitting you with a mask you breathe through during your appointment. With this option, you’ll be awake during your entire appointment, but you should feel noticeably calmer. 

The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly (usually in about 15 minutes), making it a good fit for even the busiest patient. In fact, you can probably drive yourself home after your appointment if you choose this form of dental sedation. 

Oral sedation

Although oral sedation is technically a type of conscious sedation, meaning it leaves you awake during your appointment, many people feel so relaxed with this option that they drift off to sleep while in the dentist’s chair.

With this option, you take an oral medication before your appointment. That way, by the time Dr. Olson performs your exam or treatment, you feel calm. That means you should plan to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. 

Intravenous (IV) sedation

If you’re looking for a type of sedation that Dr. Olson can adjust throughout your appointment based on the level of nervousness you feel at the moment, IV sedation delivers. Dr. Olson brings in an experienced dental anesthesiologist to administer this type of sedation — and continually monitor it through your appointment — to make it as safe as possible for you. 

You must have someone drive you home if you opt for this type of sedation dentistry. 

The safety of dental sedation

All of these types of dental sedation are so safe that they can even be used to help kids relax. Dr. Olson has extensive experience administering sedatives, so she can help you choose the right type and dose to make you as comfortable as possible.

You don’t have to feel anxious while you’re at our office. To talk with Dr. Olson about your sedation dentistry options, make an appointment with us. You can call our office at 512-212-5231 or email

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