How Oral Conscious Sedation Works

female patient with dental anxiety at the dentist's officeOral conscious sedation can help patients who have a fear of the dentist or patients who find it difficult to sit in a chair for a long time. Dental fear and anxiety can prevent patients from going to the dentist even when they experience pain and need treatment. Oral sedatives can help patients obtain a full night’s rest prior to the day of their procedure, as well as ease their nerves the day of their appointment. If sitting for more than thirty minutes causes a patient pain because of his or her health conditions, dental sedation can help mitigate the discomfort.

Using oral sedation methods, a patient will remain conscious and in control of his or her functions and movements. Nitrous oxide and oral sedatives do not put a patient to sleep but might cause drowsiness. The two types of sedation dentistry that we offer at Fresno Dental Studio both work to assist patients in alleviating apprehension. Each method has different forms of administration and after-effects. If you think sedation dentistry will help you take control of your oral health, call us at (559) 297-1294 to schedule an appointment at our Fresno, CA office.

Types of Oral Conscious Sedation

At Fresno Dental Studio, we offer two types of dental sedation. Your medical history and treatment needs will determine whether you will use either nitrous oxide and oral sedatives, or both simultaneously.

Nitrous Oxide

The list below explains nitrous oxide as used for dental sedation.

  • How does it work?
    • Patients will breathe in nitrous oxide gas through a nose mask during the procedure.
  • What does it do?
    • Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide blocks the nerves that sense pain for a patient to feel comfortable while receiving treatment. Nitrous oxide can induce a feeling of euphoria in patients and decreases some awareness and sensation during the procedure.
  • When does it wear off?
    • The effects of nitrous oxide wear off within ten to fifteen minutes after removing the mask, allowing patients to drive and function normally shortly following the procedure.

Oral Sedatives

Follow Dr. Denes’ instructions on taking your prescribed oral sedative. The list below describes how oral sedatives work to help nervous patients.

  • How does it work?
    • Typically, a patient will consume one dose of the sedative the night before his or her appointment to achieve a restful sleep. Then, he or she will take the second portion at a time directed by Dr. Denes before the procedure.
  • What does it do?
    • Oral sedatives work similarly to nitrous oxide, helping ease a patient’s fears and enabling him or her to receive proper care. Dr. Denes might also use a local anesthetic for pain management if the procedure necessitates it.
  • When does it wear off?
    • The effects of oral sedatives last longer than nitrous oxide and patients will need to arrange transport to and from the dentist’s office.


Discuss your medical history with Dr. Denes thoroughly during your consultation regarding oral sedation and whether it is right for you. Certain health conditions will affect whether nitrous oxide or oral sedatives will work effectively and safely for your needs. Patients who have kidney or liver disease, glaucoma, diabetes, or high blood pressure should let Dr. Denes know of their conditions because sedation might cause health complications. People taking prescription medications for depression, anxiety, or other mental health reasons should also be clear in describing to Dr. Denes their medical history. If nitrous oxide or oral sedatives will negatively affect your health, Dr. Denes will work with you to figure out a different method for you to receive dental care that you need.

Contact us to learn more about oral sedation dentistry and whether it will work for you. Call (559) 297-1294 to speak with one of our team members at Fresno Dental Studio and schedule a consultation with Dr. Denes.

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