Distinctive Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Young woman getting a sedation dentistry

Dr. Noelle George offers Sedation Dentistry as an option for patients who fear dental procedures and/or worry about their vulnerability and potential discomfort associated with dental procedures. 

The drugs used for dental sedation help patients relax during dental procedures. Patients are awake but sedated. If patients opt for general anesthesia for a dental procedure where they wish to be completely asleep, Dr. Noelle will refer them to a specialist to manage their care in this situation.

Reasons to Consider Dental Sedation

Dental sedation may be an option for both adults and children who 

  • Have a low threshold for pain.
  • Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair.
  • Have fear and anxiety about going to the dentist.
  • Have a general anxiety disorder.
  • Have resistance to local anesthetic.
  • Have sensitive teeth.
  • Have a bad gag reflex.
  • Need a large amount of dental work done.

Nitrous oxide is safe for children, and sometimes oral sedation may be recommended if a child won’t sit still in the dentist’s chair. If a kiddo needs to be sedated beyond the use of nitrous, Dr. George will refer you to a pediatric dentist. 

Common Types of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is safe and effective for the vast majority of patients. The most common types of dental sedation used include:

Nitrous Oxide or Inhalation Sedation. Patients breathe in nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) combined with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. It is administered before the procedure to relax the patient. Since it wears off quickly, your dentist will allow you to drive yourself home after the appointment.

Oral Sedation. Patients are given a pill (such as Halcion or Diazepam) an hour before the procedure to provide minimal to moderate sedation. The dosage prescribed depends on what is appropriate for the patient’s age and health. Oral sedation will make you sleepy, but you will still be awake. 

Conscious Sedation or Moderate Sedation. With conscious sedation, the dentist administers the sedative drug through an IV. The drug is fast-acting because it is received through a vein. Moderate sedation administered this way allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation throughout the procedure. Patients are relaxed with moderate sedation, and often don’t remember much of the procedure.

In preparing for conscious sedation, your dentist will tell you not to eat or drink anything several hours before your procedure. You may also be asked to stop taking certain medications before the day of the procedure, so it won’t interfere with sedation medication.

Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia. For deep sedation, general anesthesia is administered before the procedure. Patients are either almost unconscious or totally unconscious (deeply asleep) during the procedure.

Pain Medication with Dental Sedation

Along with dental sedation, patients will also be given a local anesthetic (usually lidocaine) to numb the site in the mouth where the dentist will be performing the procedure. 

Sedation Dentistry Available at Distinctive Dentistry

Don’t put your oral health at risk because you are afraid of going to the dentist. Distinctive Dentistry offers Sedation Dentistry as an option to help patients get the dental care they need. If you are interested in Sedation Dentistry, call Distinctive Dentistry at (503) 698-4884 to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, you may also request an appointment online. 

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

When inquiring about sedation dentistry, you want to go to an experienced and qualified dentist. Dr. Noelle has extensive training and experience in managing simple and complex dental procedures, including oral surgery and dental sedation.  

During your dental visit, Dr. Noelle will go over your medical history and review any medications you are taking to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for dental sedation. If you are a candidate, Dr. Noelle will go over the risks and benefits of dental sedation with you. This is the time for you to ask any questions you may have.


For patients who are obese or who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you should talk to your doctor first before considering dental sedation.

Dental sedation can be safe and effective for the right patient, especially when given by experienced dentists, such as Dr. Noelle.