Dental anxiety and sedation

a smiling woman

Dental anxiety and sedation- overcoming your fears

a smiling woman

At River Oaks Dental, our goal is to provide you with quality care that will help you achieve and maintain your oral health goals. We understand that going to the dentist is not an easy or routine task for all. Every individual has different needs – these needs include managing dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is experienced by patients of all ages, from little ones nervous about their first visits to adults undergoing complex procedures. Understanding the severity of our patients’ anxiousness helps us discuss sedation options and determine which option works best for them.

At River Oaks Dental we offer the following sedation options that can help ease your mind during your visits:

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): This type of sedation has been used since the mid-1800s. Today it is considered a safe and effective way to manage pain and anxiety. The patient wears a nose piece and inhales the gas throughout the procedure. Once the procedure is complete, the patient receives 5 minutes of pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of their system.


– Beneficial for patients with mild-moderate dental anxiety

– Fewer pre/post-appointment restrictions

– Completely reversible and does not cause any sort of hangover

– Safe for children and adults


– Some find the mask to be uncomfortable

– Feelings of nausea or dizziness, although uncommon, are possible

Oral sedation: This type of sedation involves the use of sedative medication. The medication can make patients drowsy and less aware of the procedure. Some patients may fall asleep but can easily be woken up with a tap on the shoulder. Throughout the appointment, patients’ vitals are monitored with the use of hospital grade equipment. Nitrous oxide can be used in combination with the medications given.


– Beneficial for patients with moderate-severe dental anxiety

– Patients tend to forget much of the appointment

– Helpful for patients needing to complete a lot of dental work in one appointment


– Requires proper planning in advance

– Patient must be picked up and dropped off by a relative or trusted friend

If you are uncertain about going to the dentist or have fears due to past experiences, schedule appointment with Dr. Rachel Monteiro. She is available to discuss ways to ease your dental anxiety (whether with or without sedation) and can help you decide what methods works best for you before planning any treatment. In the meantime, visit our website for more information about our practice and our team.

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