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Moderate sedation is an altered state of consciousness, where you become disassociated with your surroundings. Memory, anxiety levels and perception of pain are greatly reduced, and you should become very relaxed and comfortable. Most people having moderate sedation “think” they have been asleep because they may not remember anything that went on from the time the sedation started to the time they left the office.

How is it different from General Anesthesia?

IV moderate sedation differs from General sedation in many ways. First of all, with general anesthesia you are unconscious and your reflexes are diminished considerable, to the point where you must be aided in breathing through a tube placed down your windpipe. Secondly, the drugs used are very potent and may have undesirable side effects during and after the procedure. Complications tend to increase the longer you are asleep, and you may wind up very nauseous afterwards. Generally, more risks are involved with this type of anesthesia.

Who is it for?

Generally, any reasonably healthy person can have moderate sedation with ANY dental procedure, whether it is having dental hygiene or surgery.

Patients considered for moderate sedation must be suitably evaluated prior to the start of any sedative procedure.

How will I feel?

Essentially you are awake, but you will remember very little and generally feel no discomfort. For example, most people do not recall or feel any part of the procedure, including numbing of the teeth. When your appointment is over, the effects of the sedatives may last for several hours and you may be groggy most of the day of your appointment.

Is it safe?

Yes, but it is very important that you let us know about any and all medications and/or drugs you are taking (including alcohol, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, opium, demoral, hydroconde, oxyconde, oxycontin, Percocet, pain relief patches) and any medical problems that you may have so that the sedation procedure can be altered to reflect your special needs.


Nitrous Oxide is a non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) has been a primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It produces mild euphoria and amnesia. It has a calming effect on mildly anxious patients. Administered as a inhalant, along with oxygen, it is safe and it leaves little or no “hangover.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide. The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation. Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects. It is very effective in minimizing gagging. It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.