Sedation Dentistry

Is dental anxiety preventing you from going to the dentist? Sedation dentistry allows you to get the care you need while minimizing discomfort.

Learn about the various kinds of sedation dentistry we offer at our dental office in Palm Beach County.

Woman holding anesthesia face mask

Do you want comfortable, cost-effective care? Please don’t hesitate to request an appointment. We’re here for you!


Method of Anesthesia

Description of Technique

Usual Indications

Local Anesthetic

The patient remains totally conscious throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anesthetic is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery procedures.

Dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, root canals, minor soft tissue procedures, and simple tooth extractions.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic

A mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen is administered through a nasal breathing apparatus. The patient remains conscious in a relaxed condition. Nitrous oxide has a sedative and analgesic (pain-controlling) effect.

Simple oral surgery procedures to more involved procedures such as removal of wisdom teeth and placement of dental implants, or any dental procedure in which the patient would like to feel more relaxed.

Office-Based General Anesthesia with Local Anesthetic* (Sleep Dentistry)

Medications are administered through an intravenous line (I.V.). The patient falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Medications most commonly used are Fentanyl (opiate), Versed (benzodiazepine), Ketamine, and Diprivan. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus, and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored.

General anesthesia is available for all types of oral surgery. Patients may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implant placed will choose general anesthesia. General anesthesia may be necessary if local anesthesia fails to anesthetize the surgical site which often occurs in the presence of infection.

Hospital or Surgery Center-Based General Anesthesia

A patient is admitted to a hospital or surgery center where anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist.

Indicated for patients undergoing extensive procedures such as face and jaw reconstruction or TMJ surgery. Also indicated for patients with medical conditions such as heart or lung disease who require general anesthesia.

The Advantages of Sedation Dentistry

  • More Relaxed Treatment – Dental anxiety is extremely common, but sedation can help. Along with helping you stay calmer during the treatment, it can also prevent you from remembering the treatment afterward. Some patients find it easier to visit the dentist regularly if they get sedation.
  • Faster Treatment – Sedation prevents you from squirming, which reduces interruptions to your care. This means that we’ll be able to provide you with the care you need more quickly. In some cases, we might even be able to perform more procedures, reducing the number of appointments you need.
  • Reduced Gag Reflex – If you have a strong gag reflex, it can be difficult for us to provide the care you need. In these cases, sedation does more than making you comfortable: it can also make treatment possible where it otherwise wouldn’t be.
  • Less Squirming – Some patients find it difficult to sit in the dental chair, even if they don’t have anxiety. The reasons for this range from Parkinson’s disease or arthritis to simply being young and not wanting to sit still. Sedation can make for a calmer, more comfortable experience.

Worried About Going to the Dentist?

Dental Anxiety Is Common

Roughly 36% of people have dental anxiety. It’s important to confront this anxiety head on because it can prevent you from going to the dentist regularly.

Unfortunately, not going to the dentist only makes the problem worse, since regular missed appointments can exacerbate or even cause any oral health issues you may have. These oral health issues can then become more expensive to treat, as well as leading to great discomfort.

Sedation is a great way to prevent this from happening. Let's discuss how we can make your experience at the dentist calm and comfortable.

Anesthesia and Sedation

Sedation and anesthesia are often used together to ensure your comfort. While local anesthetic suppresses any pain you would experience in the area, sedation helps keep you relaxed.

Forms of Sedation

  • Oral Sedation – This form of sedation is designed for patients experiencing anxiety. It’s a pill that you can take before your appointment to be relaxed during the appointment. Depending on your anxiety, we may also recommend taking a pill the night before treatment.
  • Nitrous Oxide – This form of sedation is delivered through a mask. It’s a light sedative which can help calm your nerves. Typically we use it for simple treatments, like teeth cleanings or extractions. Some patients are more familiar with the term “laughing gas.”
  • IV Sedation – IV sedation puts you in a deep state of relaxation, but it doesn’t render you unconscious. You will still be able to respond to any questions you’re asked. Our anesthesiologist will stay with you during treatment to ensure your safety.

General Anesthesia

If you require a large amount of work, such as multiple different procedures during a single appointment, you may be a candidate for general anesthesia. If you are a candidate for this anesthesia, our anesthesiologist will stay with you throughout the procedure to ensure both your comfort and your safety.

Who’s a Candidate for Sedation?

In order to be a candidate for sedation, you should be in good health. We’ll also want to ensure you haven’t had bad reactions to the sedative in the past.

How Children Benefit from Sedation

We understand that some parents are worried about their child receiving sedation or anesthesia. That said, they can make a major difference for some patients. If we recommend sedation for your young one, it is because it will have a significant, positive impact on their oral health. Our anesthesiologist is highly qualified and experienced. They will ensure the safety of your young one during the procedure.

Sedation Aftercare

  • Oral Conscious Sedation – Once you have taken the pills, you will feel their effects for the next several hours. You should not resume daily activities until the following day.
  • Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous oxide has the fastest recovery time for any form of sedation. 15 minutes after the mask is off, you should be perfectly able to resume daily activities.
  • IV Sedation – Once you’ve received IV sedation, you will need to wait 24 hours before you’re able to resume daily activities. That said, you should be feeling close to normal within the first six hours.
  • General Anesthesia – Patients frequently experience nausea or sometimes vomiting after getting general anesthesia. This typically does not last long. That said, you will need to wait 24 hours before resuming day-to-day tasks.

Can You Drive After Sedation?

If you took nitrous oxide, you will likely be able to drive yourself home after a short period of time. Patients taking other forms of sedation will be unable to drive themselves home.

Wondering Which Form of Sedation Is Right for You?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. At Ferber Dental Group, we’re committed to helping patients get the care they need comfortably. Have any questions about the forms of sedation we have available? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“I’m very glad I discovered Dr. Ferber. I came to him because I had a multitude of dental problems. The teeth were just a disaster, and I was totally embarrassed to smile. I kept replacing teeth and going in for crowns and root canals. Finally, I decided I wanted to go for a full-mouth implant.  I wish I had done this many years ago. The results are just exemplary. If you’re suffering like I was for many, many years, do not hesitate.”

- Ray

“People ask me all the time where I got my new smile done and I tell them Dr. Ferber. Before I got the work done, I didn’t feel very confident. I didn’t want anyone to see me smile. And now, I love to smile, and I get so many compliments on my smile. It was an easy, painless experience. The staff was great, and the price was right.”


“Dr. Ferber really knows his stuff. Since I had my teeth really done over, I have my smile back. And I have my giggle back! I would say that anybody questioning what they should do, they should come here. The whole team treats you like you’re family. They’re warm and they care.”

- Bonnie

“Your staff is very professional and friendly, as always. Who looks forward to going to the dentist?!?! Not many. But your office makes it seem less of a disagreeable task. Don’t misunderstand, I still don’t like going. But if I have to, I’m glad I go to your practice!”

- Randy O