Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Sedation dentistry offers comfort and relaxation to patients who experience anxiety or discomfort during dental procedures. At Chapel Hill Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we understand how daunting a visit to the dentist can feel for some individuals. By utilizing various sedation methods, we aim to make dental visits more manageable and less stressful for our patients. Considering the different types of sedation available, it is important to find the most suitable option for your specific needs. Our dental experts provide personalized care and tailor sedation options to ensure you have a pleasant experience.  

Sedation dentistry offers comfort and relaxation to patients who experience anxiety or discomfort during dental procedures.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves taking a prescribed medication before your dental visit. Typically, you will swallow a pill about an hour before the procedure. This method helps you remain calm while still being awake. The medication induces a state of relaxation without rendering you unconscious. Many patients report feeling drowsy and sometimes doze off during the procedure. The effects usually last for several hours. Oral sedation is ideal for patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety.  

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, provides a mild form of sedation through inhalation. You will breathe in the gas through a mask placed over your nose. This method works quickly, helping you feel relaxed and at ease within minutes. Nitrous oxide is a light sedative that wears off soon after the mask is removed. This could allow you to drive home safely or resume normal activities shortly after your appointment. Nitrous oxide is an excellent option for children or patients who experience mild anxiety and prefer a lighter sedation method.

Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Many patients experience dental anxiety or phobia, making it difficult to attend regular dental appointments. Sedation dentistry could alleviate these fears, enabling you to receive necessary treatments without undue stress. Patients with dental phobia often avoid going to the dentist, which can lead to serious oral health issues. Sedation provides a solution by reducing anxiety and making dental visits more approachable. By addressing your anxiety, we help you maintain your oral health more effectively and prevent dental problems from escalating.

Complex Dental Procedures

Certain dental procedures, such as root canals, extractions, or dental implant placement, require extended time in the dental chair. Sedation dentistry often provides enhanced comfort during these lengthy treatments. You can remain relaxed and still, allowing your dentist to perform the procedure efficiently and effectively. Patients undergoing multiple procedures in one visit can benefit from sedation, as it minimizes discomfort and anxiety throughout the treatment.

Risks and Considerations

Health Factors to Consider

Discussing your health history with Dr. Furgurson is crucial before undergoing sedation dentistry. Medical conditions and medications can affect how your body responds to sedation. During the consultation, we will review your medical history and any medications you are currently taking. By understanding your health background, we ensure the chosen sedation method aligns with your needs and minimizes potential risks. Patients with certain conditions, such as respiratory issues or cardiac problems, may require special considerations or alternative sedation methods.

Post-Sedation Effects

After sedation, you may experience grogginess or disorientation for a few hours. Arranging for a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you is essential until you fully recover. Though side effects are usually mild, understanding potential risks helps you make an informed decision. Some patients may experience minor side effects such as nausea, headache, or dry mouth. Dr. Furgurson and his team will provide detailed post-procedure instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and address any concerns you may have.


Sedation dentistry offers numerous benefits, often making dental visits less intimidating and more comfortable. At Chapel Hill Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we prioritize your well-being and strive to provide the best dental care possible. Whether you experience dental anxiety, require a complex procedure, or simply want a more relaxed experience, sedation dentistry could help. If you believe sedation dentistry might be right for you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us.