Sedation Dentistry: Indications and Contraindications Explored

Are you supposed to see a dentist but are too scared to do it because you can’t stomach the thought of pain? Well, there’s a pain preventive technique called sedation dentistry that you may find useful.  In sedation dentistry, medications are administered orally—via inhalation or intravenously—to help you relax during dental treatment. You can be awake though relaxed or completely unconscious after sedation dentistry. It all depends on the type of sedation that your dentist advises.

Like other dental procedures, not everyone is an ideal candidate for the technique. So, you have to know its indications and contraindications before trying it out.


Generally, sedation dentistry is recommended to the following cases:

  • Individuals who are afraid of dental procedures: More often than not, children are the ones who dread when they have to see a dentist. An adult with the phobia can also consider sedation.
  • Individuals who can’t be still in a dentist’s chair: If you are too anxious to stay still during a dental procedure, sedation dentistry can help you relax and stay calm.
  • Individuals with sensitive teeth: If your teeth are easily irritated when you undergo a dental procedure or when they are touched, you should consider relaxing them through sedation.
  • Individuals in need of so much dental work: Since so much dental work can be tiring and uncomfortable, you need to find a better way to relax and there’s nothing better than sedation dentistry.
  • Individuals scheduled for an invasive dental procedure: Whether it’s tooth extraction, an implant or oral surgery, sedation dentistry can help you relax and go through your procedure successfully.
  • Gagging individuals: If you can’t stand something in your mouth without feeling like you want to vomit, sedation can help.


Sedation dentistry is generally inadvisable against the following:

  • Pregnant and nursing mothers: Sedation medications can easily pass from the mother to the baby, posing a health risk to the young one. This is why it should be avoided by both expectant and nursing moms.
  • Hypersensitive patients: Hypersensitive patients are normally allergic to most drugs, including sedation prescriptions. So, instead of taking a chance, just avoid sedation dentistry.
  • Individuals with renal, river, respirator, or cardiac complications: If organs like the kidney, liver, lungs, and heart are not healthy, chances are that sedation medications may worsen the existing condition.
  • Patients on tranquilizers, antidepressants or other sedatives: These medications are as powerful as those that are used in sedation dentistry. As a result, they are likely to interfere with the performance of sedation medications.
  • Depressed or bipolar patients: Because of their condition, such patients may become disappointed with the results of sedation dentistry as their expectations are often unrealistic. Furthermore, the drugs they use can interfere with sedation.
  • Tobacco and alcohol addicts: Too much alcohol or tobacco interferes with the effectiveness of sedation medications. So, it’s important to limit your alcohol intake and smoking frequency before sedation dentistry.

Understanding your suitability for sedation dentistry candidacy is critical in having the procedure. Before you can go ahead with it, you should know if it’s safe for you or not. The above guide will help you make a better decision. If you still have questions, then you should talk to your dentist right away.