How Sedation Is Administered In Dentistry

January Special: Free sedation (some restrictions apply). Call (303) 323-8149 for more details or to schedule an appointment.

Sedation dentistry can be a great benefit, ensuring comfortable treatment for all types of dental procedures.

Below are the different ways that sedation is administered in dentistry.

Laughing Gas / Nitrous Oxide
Laughing gas (also known as nitrous oxide) is the very mildest form of sedation that we use in dentistry. We administer it through a small mask that fits over your nose. The nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen throughout your dental procedure. Once your treatment is completed, we then give you 100% pure oxygen. Nitrous is a safe, effective sedative that has been around since the 1800s. With laughing gas, you can drive yourself to and from our dental office.

Oral Sedation / Conscious Sedation
Oral sedation (also known as conscious sedation and sleep dentistry) is administered through a pill that you take before your appointment. With oral sedation, you’ll have no sense of time and little or no awareness of smells or sounds. After your dental procedure, you’ll have no memory of it. Oral sedation is the best type of sedation for people who need something more than laughing gas, but less than IV sedation. With oral sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home from your appointment.

IV Sedation / General Anesthesia
IV sedation (also known as general anesthesia) is administered through an IV, which is attached to your arm. A nurse anesthetist with over 25 years experience works with Dr. O’Leary or Dr. Peppler (both of whom are experienced sedation dentists) to administer the sedation. We monitor your pulse, oxygen levels, and blood pressure throughout the procedure. In addition, you’re hooked to a heart monitor. With IV sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home from your appointment and stay with you for  around 2 to 4 hours.

Sedation dentistry is a great choice if you need to undergo a complex procedure, such as: oral surgery, wisdom teeth extraction, periodontal surgery, or a root canal.

Sedation is also extremely helpful for people who have the following:
• mild or severe dental anxiety or dental phobia
• difficulty sitting still for a long period of time
• a strong gag reflex
• a hard time getting numb or staying numb from Novocain

We’re pleased to offer a free dental consultation (including X-ray), in which we can talk about the type of sedation that would be best for you.  You can also learn more here about oral sedation vs laughing gas and oral sedation vs IV sedation.

For more information on sedation dentistry, or to schedule a free dental consultation, please call our dental office at (303) 323-8149, or e-mail

Please make note: For your convenience, we offer early morning dental appointments and evening dental appointments. Our dental office is located off C-470 and Quebec, in Lone Tree, which is east of Highlands Ranch.