Sedation Dentistry

We know dental anxiety is something that affects countless people, including many of our very own patients, which is why at Willow Springs Dental we offer sedation dentistry in order for our patients to be able to take advantage of our modern procedures that keep their dental health in check.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is just another branch of dentistry, similar to cosmetic dentistry, or pediatric dentistry for example. Sedation dentistry includes the administration by any defined route or technique of drugs which results in depression of the central nervous system (ADA, 2023). In simpler terms, it allows our patients to relax while undergoing dental treatment, so much so that they will not feel anything during the treatment and may not even remember it happening! Because of this, it also allows the dentist to be able to perform multiple procedures in just one sitting, creating even more ease and less anxiety for our patients. There are varying levels of sedation within sedation dentistry; mild or minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia.

Minimal Sedation: Administered in the form of a gas. Throughout the procedure, the patient remains conscious and aware, but is sedated enough to the point where they feel relaxed and anxiety free.

Moderate Sedation: Administered in the form of a pill. No surprise, moderate dental sedation is slightly stronger than minimal sedation. It has a stronger effect that gives the patient even deeper relaxation, often so much so that the patient will have trouble speaking or may have a very foggy recollection of the procedure.

Deep Sedation: Administered intravenously (through an IV). During the procedure, the patient is awake but is on the edge of consciousness experiencing ‘twilight sleep’ until the procedure is complete and they are awakened.

General Anesthesia: This is the strongest form of sedation where the patient is completely unconscious throughout the entirety of the procedure.

Sedation Dentistry in Summerlin

At Willow Springs Dental we offer our patients two different types of sedation that fall under the categories of minimal sedation and moderate sedation. The first, categorized as minimal sedation, is Nitrous Oxide. This is a type of gas that is mixed with oxygen and is often referred to as laughing gas. The patient will inhale the gas though a mask that covers both the nose and mouth. Though this is a light sedation, it lasts though the entire procedure while giving our patients a feeling of complete relaxation. The great thing about laughing gas is you will be able to drive yourself home after the treatment. This is possible because once the procedure is complete, the dentist flushes out the remaining nitrous oxide by giving you pure oxygen. Within just a few minutes the gas is out of your system and you are able to go about your day without any issues of side effects!

The second form of sedation we offer is oral sedation, which falls under the category of moderate sedation. We use a medication called Triazolam, which is a small blue pill that we have our patients take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes before their appointment time. Various dosages of Triazolam may be given to a patient during their appointment, it all depends on the individual, the severity of their anxiety, and the patient’s response. Though you remain conscious throughout treatment, your motor skills and memory will be greatly impacted for even up to an hour after the procedure is complete. Because of this, you will need to be accommodated to the appointment by a trusted friend or family member to ensure you have a safe and reliable way home.

Safety with Sedation

When practicing sedation dentistry, our top priority is the safety of our patients. All of the sedation options we offer are effective, safe and comfortable for our patients, and we always follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines for sedation. Before any procedure that requires or will be utilizing sedation, our team reviews your medical history and discusses any current medications you may be taking. This helps us make a determination on whether or not you care a good and safe candidate for sedation.

Additionally, we always take time at the beginning of the appointment (before the sedation method has been administered of course) to discuss expectations with our patients in regards to both sedation and the treatment in general that they are about to receive. After reviewing expectations, we take as much time as needed to address any concerns and answer any questions the patient may have for us. We believe it is important for our patients to not just know their safety is a priority, but we want them to feel it as well.

During the procedure we ensure that there is oxygen present in the room the treatment is taking place in, as well as the appropriate drugs that have the ability to reverse the sedation effects if needed. Throughout the entirety of the treatment, we are also constantly monitoring the patient’s vital signs so any if there are any significant changes, they can be addressed immediately. All of this is to say, when you receive sedation dentistry at Willow Springs Dental, you can be sure you are in the best of hands.

The Pros and Cons of Sedation Dentistry

We always want to be transparent with our patients about the treatment they will be receiving, so let’s cover a few of the benefits of sedation dentistry…and to be fair, the downfalls.


  • Sedation reduces pain during treatment
  • Greatly reduces anxiety and the potential of panic attacks during treatment
  • A patient’s comfort level is much higher throughout the procedure


  • There is a potential for side effects such as nausea, headache, and drowsiness
  • You may need someone to attend the appointment with you for a safe ride home

Las Vegas’ Top Dentist: Willow Springs Dental

Willow Springs Dental constantly strives to provide the best care and overall experience for our patients. Whether you’re coming in for a standard cleaning, restorations, or perhaps professional teeth whitening, we guarantee extraordinary care and comfort. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our current patients are saying, and schedule a consultation today!