4 Types of Drugs Used in Sedation Dentistry 

When you have anxiety about dental cleaning or dental procedures, this might cause you to skip seeing the dentist. Since this can lead to additional dental problems, it’s important to find a way to manage dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry in Shelburne offers an effective way to feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office. Conscious sedation means you won’t be unconscious or asleep while having dental work done, but you won’t feel any pain or anxiety. Learn more about different types of conscious sedation drugs that are used in dentistry.


Midazolam is a type of anti-anxiety drug known as a benzodiazepine. When this drug is used for sedation dentistry, it eases anxiety. Midzolam can also prevent patients from remembering what happened during their dental visit, which might help them feel less anxious the next time they need dental work or cleaning. This sedation drug does not cause notable problems with heart and lung function, making it safe for many patients, including adult and pediatric dental patients. Those who should not be given midazolam for dental sedation include patients with a sensitivity or allergy to this drug. Midazolam tends to work within a few minutes after it is injected and can last for up to 2 hours.


Propofol is a sedation drug that contains a combination of egg lecithin, glycerol, and soybean oil. This drug typically starts to work within a couple of minutes after being injected. Since its effects don’t last as long as other sedation drugs, it is sometimes administered multiple times during dental visits as needed. Propofol might cause slight discomfort when injected, but anesthetics can be used to prevent this from happening. While this sedation drug can be used in adult and pediatric patients, dentists need to monitor blood pressure regularly. Propofol can cause blood pressure levels to drop in some patients. Patients who have allergies or sensitivities to propofol, eggs, or soybean products should not be given this sedation drug.


Ketamine is a type of sedation drug that helps prevent patients from remembering what happens during dental visits. This drug also eases pain and does not usually affect lung function or cardiovascular reflexes. Ketamine takes roughly a minute to begin working after being injected. Since each dosage only lasts for up to 10 minutes, this sedation drug is typically used for shorter dental procedures rather than longer ones. Patients under 16 years of age and those who have a sensitivity to ketamine should not be given this drug. Ketamine also shouldn’t be given to those who might have serious adverse effects from a rise in blood pressure, which can occur with this drug.


Dexmedetomidine is a sedation drug that causes patients to fall into a sleep pattern while also slowing down heart rate and breathing. Low doses are usually administered due to these effects. This drug does not fully cause a loss of consciousness, though, so dentists and patients can communicate throughout the procedure. Dexmedetomidine is typically given on a continuous basis during dental visits. This drug should be used with caution in elderly patients, as well as patients with diabetes or a history of high blood pressure.

Find Out More About Sedation Dentistry in Shelburne

If you need more information on sedation dentistry, please contact us today. We can provide you with more details on how sedation works and dental sedation options that are available at our office.

Our patients will always be our first priority. We are devoted to creating an exceptional experience with every patient that walks into our office.

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