How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?


Going to the dentist can sometimes be an intimidating affair, and many patients feel anxious, apathetic, or even downright afraid of receiving essential or urgent dental care. But fortunately, oral conscious sedation is one of the many ways that your dentist can ensure that you’re comfortable and totally at ease as they work on your smile. Here’s a little more about what oral conscious sedation is, along with how to determine if you might benefit from it.

What Exactly Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Oral conscious sedation involves taking medication, often in the form of a pill, before or during your dental appointment to sedate you in preparation for dental work. This level of sedation can range from minimal to moderate, depending on your individual needs. Ultimately, it allows your dentist to access all parts of your mouth safely and effectively so that they can carry out your required treatment.

As the name suggests, patients remain completely conscious, awake, and aware during their visit. You’ll still be able to respond to verbal commands and physical stimuli, and most importantly, you’ll be numbed and unable to experience any discomfort or pain.  

Since patients are relaxed and comfortable, treatment is generally much easier for your dentist to carry out and quicker to perform. Patients also usually have no recollection of their treatment, leaving them with a pleasant experience and no soreness or any lasting side effects.

Determining If Oral Conscious Sedation Is Right for You

Oral conscious sedation is safe and effective for most patients, although your dental team will always review your well-being before deeming it a viable option. That said, it is a great option in the following situations:

  • Patients with debilitating dental fear or anxiety, or those who simply wish to take the edge off of receiving dental care.
  • Patients with a strong gag reflex.
  • Patients with incredibly sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Patients with acute or chronic jaw pain.
  • Patients with behavioral or physical limitations that interfere with their ability to remain seated.

If you’re hoping to make your next dental visit a more enjoyable and comfortable experience, oral conscious sedation might be the solution you’re searching for, and luckily, it’s a great option for the majority of patients!

About the Author

Dr. Grant D. Ringler received his DDS from the University of Nebraska and has proudly served patients and families in the Hutchinson area for over 30 years. His practice is thrilled to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatment options. He’s also pleased to offer sedation dentistry. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit for you or a loved one, you can contact the practice online or by phone for further assistance: (620) 708-4045.