How Does Sedation Dentistry Work

February Special: Free sedation for all new patients. Find out about all your options in a free consultation, which includes a 3D digital X-ray. Call (303) 323-8149 to schedule an appointment.

Because our dental practice has a strong focus on gentle dental care and sedation dentistry, we often hear the question, “how does sedation dentistry work?”

Below, you’ll find information about the three types of sedation dentistry and how they can work for you:

Laughing Gas / Nitrous Oxide: Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is the lowest level of sedation for dentistry. We administer it through a nose piece, and it can help you relax during your dental visit. For most people, laughing gas is used in conjunction with Novocain, not as a replacement for it. After your dental treatment, the effects of laughing gas quickly wear off, and you’re able to drive yourself home.

Oral Sedation / Conscious Sedation / Sleep Dentistry: Oral sedation is the next level of sedation for dentistry, and we administer it through a pill. Also known as “conscious sedation” and “sleep dentistry,” the medication puts you in a relaxed state, in which you’re partially awake. After your appointment, it will seem as if time flew by, and you’ll have little or no memory of what transpired, because the medication helps slow down your central nervous system. Oral sedation is a popular treatment with patients who have anxiety about shots or needles, have severe gag reflex issues, or have trouble tolerating dental procedures. After your appointment is over, you’ll need to have someone drive you home.

IV Sedation: Also known as “general anesthesia,” IV sedation is the highest level of sedation for dentistry. Many people are familiar with IV sedation for dentistry, because it’s commonly used when extracting wisdom teeth. With IV sedation, you’ll be unconscious during the entire procedure. “IV” means “intravenously,” or through the veins. Our nurse anesthetist places an IV tube in your arm, through which the sedation medication is administered. During the complete dental procedure, your vital signs are always monitored, and after treatment is completed, you’ll need to have someone drive you home.

Meadows Dental is one of the few and elite dental practices in all of the state of Colorado to offer all three types of sedation, and both of our dentists (Dr. O’Leary and Dr. Peppler) are experienced sedation dentists.

For further information on sedation dentistry, to learn more about oral sedation vs. laughing gas or oral sedation vs. IV sedation, please contact our office (303) 323-8149, or e-mail

Please make note: Our dental office is located in Lone Tree, near Park Meadows Mall, and we accept Delta Dental and most other types of dental insurance plans. We also offer financing through CareCredit, and we have early morning and evening appointments available.