WE ARE HIRING: Be Part of our Exceptional Dental Team!

The Dental Blog

Make an Appointment
Articles Dental Fear
Sebo Marketing October 15th, 2021

Understanding Sedation Dentistry: Oral Conscious Sedation


Most people can manage dental treatment with little more than some slight anxiety. For some people however, going to the dentist is a lot more difficult. Whether it was a bad experience as a child or some other issues, the fear makes it very difficult for some people to take care of themselves and get the treatment they know they need or want.

At Dental Care of Stamford we understand that these fears are real and that dealing with people’s concerns is just as important as fixing their cavities. That’s why several of our doctors are certified in sedation dentistry. One of the types of sedation we offer is oral conscious sedation which can help people with high fear get past the stress and back to dental health. Oral conscious sedation is done by taking a sedative tranquilizer medicine (a pill) and may be supplemented by a medicated air to breathe containing nitrous oxide which is also known as laughing gas.


A Quick Overview of How It Works

  • You are given a small pill to take an hour prior to your dental appointment. Your companion will accompany you to the office. By the time you arrive you will be very drowsy.
  • When you arrive in our office, you will be escorted into the sleep room, covered with a thick, warm blanket and placed on a monitor to watch your vital signs.
  • After you are comfortable, the staff at Dental Care of Stamford will take care of your dental needs.
  • When your treatment is completed your companion will return you home to finish your relaxing sleep.


Sedation dentistry is a way for patients to have the dental work they want and need, even if they are especially anxious of having dental work performed. Sedation Dentistry allows the patient to relax safely through the procedure and have very little memory after. The procedures are very safe and we monitor your heart and blood pressure throughout the procedures.

In order to get a good result, you must follow these directions completely.

You will need to be accompanied to and from the office by a responsible adult who will be able to help you walk and assist you in and out of your home, the office and your automobile. They do not have to remain in the office for the whole procedure. They can go and run some errands and call in around the time we are expected to finish so they will be back in time to pick you up. In addition, they will need to stay with you for several hours at home because even though you will leave the office awake and alert, you will still be sedated and will need assistance to move about. If you were left alone, you could fall and injure yourself. It is imperative that you do not take any additional medications or drugs, prescription or otherwise, because there could be a serious reaction between your drugs and the medicines we give you.

Additional Directions to Insure a Good Result

You will feel fine after the appointment, but for your well being we require that you follow these specific directions:

  • No sedatives of any kind, including alcohol, 24 hours before or after the appointment.
  • No stimulants, including caffeine and nicotine, 24 hours before or after the appointment.
  • No chance of being pregnant. No nursing a baby for 24 hours after the appointment.
  • No driving a car or operating hazardous devices for 24 hours after the appointment.
  • No walking stairs, exercising, or heavy lifting for 24 hours after the appointment.
  • No important decisions (work) for 24 hours after the appointment.

Start the night before by having nothing to eat or drink after midnight. In the morning have nothing to eat or drink. Select clothing that is loose and comfortable for your dental visit. After your visit, you will remember very little. Expect to go home and enjoy a good night sleep. If you have any questions or concerns, call the office 203-324-6171.

Additional unanticipated treatment might be needed  during the procedure. Dental problems may show up that were not noticed or diagnosed before, such as a tooth that might be very decayed and need a crown or root canal. We will be very careful to try to prevent this from happening by thorough diagnosis. At the same time, we also try to be conservative and do the least that is needed. If this occurs you will be too sedated for us to ask you what you wanted us to do. We will always respect your desires, so please let us know in advance if you want us to:

1.   Stick to the plan regardless of what we find.

2.   Make the best decision on your behalf.

3.   (Please circle and initial one of the above)

I have read these instructions and I state that all of the information I have given on my medical and personal history forms is true and complete and agree that I will follow these and any other instructions that I have been given.

Patient’s x________________________

Witness x________________________

Date __________


Some Facts About Oral Conscious Sedation

  • It really works! You really can sleep through your dental appointment.
  • It is safe! You take a small pill prior to treatment, no intra-venous tubes or needles.
  • You will have little or no memory of the experience. You won’t remember any sounds or smells.
  • You can sleep for up to five to six hours after taking the pill. The time you are asleep will vary depending on your needed treatment.
  • Complex dental treatments that often require multiple appointments, can be done in as little as one! All while you sleep.
  • People who have difficulty getting numb have no problem when relaxed and asleep.
  • Sedation Dentistry is a safe way to reduce the fatigue of extended dental treatment requiring long visits.

To learn more please call us today at 203-324-6171 or request a FREE consultation.  If you like you can stop by for a cup of coffee or tea and we’ll give you a free office tour and a chance to meet our team.


Who Is A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?

People who have…

  • High fear of the dentist
  • Had traumatic dental experiences
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • A bad gag reflex
  • Very sensitive teeth.
  • Limited time to complete their dental care.
  • Complex dental problems.

People who …

  • Hate needles and shots!
  • Hate the noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care
  • Are afraid or embarrassed about their teeth
  • Disabilities the preclude them from receiving traditional dental services


FAQ’s About Sedation Dentistry


Many people have strong fears associated with dental care that makes it hard for them to get their work done.  Other patients need a lot of work and do not want to have to come for many visits.  They want to get it done in the fewest visits possible.  In either case, being sedated makes the patients unaware of what is going on and they can get through their appointments with ease and comfort.


Anyone who wants to have dental work done in a state of comfort and relaxation is a candidate for sedation dentistry.  Specific examples are patients who have a hard time getting numb, have a strong gag reflex, patients who have significant fears of dental treatment, have had bad experiences in the past and patients who simply want to get a lot of work done in a long visit without being aware of the time in the dental chair.


Sedation dentistry works by taking a pill that relaxes you and puts you in a twilight state of consciousness.   You alternate between being conscious and drifting off to sleep.  And best of all, most people have very little if any memory of the entire dental visit.


No. You will feel nothing!


Yes, one of our team is always with you and your vital signs are monitored during the entire visit. You are never alone.


No, you are in a state of sleep, but you are responsive.


Depending on your needs, from two to six hours.


Yes, due to the sedative effects of the sleeping pill, you will need someone to drive you to our office and home again.


You have nothing to eat or drink from midnight on the day prior to your visits.  If you take routine medicines you MUST discuss this with the doctor at your consultation visit.  Different medicines can interact with each other and it is important that we know anything you take.  That includes all vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements of any kind and especially nicotine (in tobacco products) and caffeine (in tea or coffee).

You will be brought to the office by your companion who will receive their instructions as well.  They do not have to stay at the office for the entire time but they will need to give us a phone number so we can call them to come and pick you up when your appointment is complete.


You will be escorted from the office directly home by your companion who must seat belt you into your car and take you into your home and get you comfortable and settled to sleep and rest for the balance of the day.  You cannot be left alone because you will still be sleepy for several hours and might slip and fall if unattended.  It is very important that you drink lots of water or fruit juice and when any numbness is gone, soft and easy to digest foods are suggested.

The medicines that we use for sedation are designed to make you comfortable and not aware of your environment.  As such you cannot drive a car, operate machinery, stand on a ladder, ride a bicycle or any activity that requires fully conscious awareness or judgment until the next day after sedation dentistry. That includes making important business or personal decisions.

We will review the post operative instructions with your companion before you leave the office.



When they return to the office, after the first visit for follow up care most of our patients  say something like, “That was so amazing.  If I knew it would be so easy, I would have done it years ago.”  All of your work can be done with sedation if that is what you prefer.  But we will say that many of our patients feel so much better after the first visit  that they feel great about having subsequent visits done without sedation. That is of course entirely up to you.


Related Posts