Sedation Options

  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is used during dental procedures and is combined with oxygen to make patients feel relaxed and comfortable. Patients are coherent while using Nitrous Oxide and they do not lose consciousness. Patients should be on an empty stomach (no food or drink 4 hours prior to Nitrous Oxide use).
  • Oral Sedation provides a deeper level of sedation than Nitrous Oxide, and it creates a calm sleepy feeling during treatment. Pills are taken 1 hour prior to root canal treatment. With oral sedation, patients can follow directions and hear everything around them, but may not remember the actual procedure. The next day, patients should feel well rested and back to normal function.
  • IV Sedation is available for patients with significant fear of dental treatments or patients with complex medical history. This form of sedation is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist working along side the dentist performing the root canal treatment. The fees for IV sedation are in addition to root canal treatment fee and often are NOT covered by dental insurance.

Before and After Instructions for Oral Sedation

Arriving and Leaving

  • All sedation patients must be accompanied by a driver to and from the appointment and remain at the office during treatment.
  • For children: a parent or legal guardian must accompany the patient
  • For adults: a responsible adult (over the age of 18) must be responsible to transport the patient

Eating and Drinking (before treatment)

  • Patients should not have any food 4 hours before the appointment. Patients may have clear fluids (apple juice or water) for up to 2 hours before the appointment.

Eating and Drinking (after treatment)

  • It is important to be well hydrated after treatment and drinks should taken in small amounts. Warm soft liquids may be taken when desired in small portions. The cheeks, lips and tongue will be numb after treatment. Please avoid foods that require chewing until the numbness wears off. Remind patient to refrain from self-checking for numbness by poking or chewing on the numbed area.

Change in health

  • If there are any changes in your health (chest cold or fever) within 7 days before the day of treatment, please reschedule the appointment.

What to wear

  • Remove contact lenses and do not wear jewelry or finger nail polish. Wear comfortable clothing and low-heeled shoes.


  • Take your medications as usual, such as seizure, diabetes medications or prophylactic antibiotics and those prescribed by your doctor. Any questions regarding medications, please contact Root Canal Dentists.


  • Patients should rest a minimum of 8 hours following sedation and should refrain from driving a car or engage in activity that requires alertness. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours.

Additional Information