The Benefits and Downsides of Oral Sedation

The Benefits and Downsides of Oral Sedation

Jul 01, 2021

Oral sedation or pill sedation is one of the three modes of sedation dentists use to calm patients during a dental procedure. Of late oral sedation is the most popular method of sedating patients anxious about dental visits and neglecting routine dental care. In Canada and America, oral sedation is exceedingly administered to patients with dental anxiety.

Oral sedation is unlike nitrous oxide sedation and intravenous sedation, and patients receive the sedative in the form of a pill much earlier in the hours leading to the appointment. The oral sedative is a tranquilizer, antidepressant, or muscle relaxant, helping decrease activity in that part of the brain controlling fear and anxiety. Oral sedation delivers a relaxed and calm mood to enable dentists to perform any procedures scheduled effectively.

The Administration of Oral Sedation

Many people fear dental visits because they dislike the prodding in their mouths and the needles poking into their gums, resulting in neglecting essential dental care. People are fearful of visiting dentists even for routine exams and cleanings and avoid dental visits altogether regardless of whether they need minor treatments or need extensive care from their dentist.

The dentist in Calgary, AB, always had solutions to deal with dental anxiety and pain with different modes of sedation including local, intravenous, and general anesthesia. Unfortunately, the methods weren’t helpful for people with fears of needles which always shied away from dental treatments frequently. However, the availability of sedation dentistry made things more manageable both for dentists and patients to perform and undergo intensive treatments without flinching in the dentist’s chair.

Patients receiving oral sedation don’t have to wait until they arrive at their dentist’s office. Depending on the extensiveness of their procedure, dentists treating them prescribe pills which they must have an hour before their appointment, making them feel relaxed by the time they arrive.

What Precisely Is Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation is a method to establish a relaxed, easy, and calm state of mind with the help of sedative drugs administered in various ways. Earlier intravenous sedation delivered via injections was the most popular method used to sedate dental patients. This is because IV sedation was safe and effective when administered by trained professionals. However, oral sedation offers patients a no-needle approach people find appealing.

The technique for administering oral sedation is easy, requiring no needles. Best of all, oral sedation creates a comfortable experience for most patients who do not remember their visit to the dentist’s office.

Benefits and Downsides of Oral Sedation

Techniques used for calming patients during procedures have their benefits and downsides, and oral sedation is not an exception. Let us look at the pros and cons of oral sedation to indicate how you feel when recommended this technique.


  • The most significant benefit of oral sedation is people think they spent a few minutes in the dentist’s chair when in reality, they may have spent hours.
  • Administration of oral sedation is easy with just a pill to ingest to keep patients calm during the dental procedure.
  • Oral sedation requires patients to ingest a pill orally before the appointment without remaining concerned about getting pricked in the mouth but the dentist.
  • The dosage of oral sedatives administered leaves patients with little memory of the procedure and is excellent for patients with dental anxiety.
  • The FDA regulates oral sedatives and ensuring patients will not likely experience any adverse effects of the medicines.
  • Oral sedatives do not induce unconsciousness in patients but keeps them awake and relatively responsive to any questions by the dentist. In reality, patients don’t remember the local anesthesia injected into their mouths by the dentist as a technique of controlling pain.


  • Oral sedatives are not effective immediately upon Administration, unlike IV sedation or nitrous oxide. Oral sedation requires some time before it is effective, and that is why dentists recommend patients ingest the pill an hour before their appointment.
  • The level of sedation is challenging to change because of the time needed by oral tradition for maximum effectiveness. In addition, not everyone metabolizes pills similarly, and even dentists cannot predict how long it takes for the sedative to become effective. Therefore dentists prescribe higher doses for patients, even for minor procedures.
  • Patients advised oral sedation are recommended to have help around them to drive to and from the dentist’s appointment. In addition, patients require some time to safely operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery after undergoing dental procedures with oral sedation.

People may express happiness with oral sedation now being available to deal with any dental anxiety affecting them but may wonder whether dental sedation cost is exorbitant as administrating the sedative is convenient. It helps if people realize the procedure they are undergoing, their geographic location, the dentist’s experience, and many factors that play a role in the final pricing of dental sedation costs. However, people can rest assured the prices are not exorbitant and within reach of everyone.

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