Dental Services

Oral Sedation

Sedation makes dental care more accessible. At Integrity, we provide moderate oral sedation for individuals ages 13 and up.

When people have moderate (or “conscious”) sedation, they keep their ability to breathe independently and can respond purposefully to simple questions. The sedation puts them in a relaxed, "twilight" state, and they usually don’t remember the appointment when they wake up.

Before scheduling a sedation appointment, we make sure we have a complete medical and dental history, and we make and discuss a detailed plan for the appointment. We also make sure we know who will drive the patient to and from the appointment, and who will take care of him or her while the sedative is wearing off.

The night before a sedation appointment, we prescribe a mild relaxant, like Valium. Generally, people don’t feel a difference after taking it, but it primes their system so we don’t have to administer as high of a dose the next day.

It’s important not to eat or drink for six hours prior to being sedated, so we usually schedule sedation appointments so they start a few hours after the patient typically wakes up.

About an hour before the appointment, the patient takes another dose of a sedative (usually a stronger one). A friend or family member drives them to the appointment. Once the patient is checked in, monitored, and comfortable, we provide an additional dose of sedative and give it time to set in.

During the appointment, the driver needs to stay at the office.

For a full 24 hours after the appointment - even after the patient wakes up and feels normal - the patient should:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid driving.
  • Avoid operating machinery (like lawn equipment).
  • Avoid lifting heavy things or using the stairs, since it’s easy to suddenly lose balance.
  • Avoid making important decisions, like quitting a job, proposing, or putting a house on the market.

The following precautions only apply to some of our patients:

  • If you wear contact lenses, leave them out the day of the appointment.
  • If you are diabetic, you will likely need to coordinate your food intake so you don’t go six hours without eating.
  • If you take sleep aids or sedatives, you probably won't need the extra dose before bed.
  • If you are breastfeeding or donating milk, let us know so we can adjust your dosage.
  • If you smoke or vape, sedation might not work, since nicotine is a stimulant that counteracts sedatives.

Oral sedation is great, but it isn’t for everyone. A few situations make it impossible. Oral sedation is not for you if you are:

  • Alergic to benzodiazepines.
  • Pregnant; benzodiazepines cause miscarriage if they are used during pregnancy.

If you have any questions about sedation dentistry, please call or email us.


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