Sedation Series #2: Oral Conscious Sedation

In our last post, we discussed nitrous oxide sedation, also known as laughing gas. Now, the team at Green Leaf Dental wants to give you the details about another option that we offer for nervous patients or those undergoing extensive dental work: Oral Conscious Sedation.

To keep you informed, we’re here to answer some of the most common questions we hear in our office about this method of dental sedation:

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Oral conscious sedation is a pill-based drug, usually a benzodiazepine, that is used to reduce feelings of negativity, anxiety, and discomfort during a dental procedure. Some of the most common drugs used for this are Halcion, Valium, and Ativan.

Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean will discuss your needs to help determine the proper medication and dosage for your particular case, ensuring you get ideal results from oral conscious sedation.

What Are The Effects Of Oral Conscious Sedation?

Oral conscious sedation will make you feel drowsy and groggy. You may not remember parts of your procedure, and in some cases you may even fall asleep in the dentist’s chair. Your feelings of fear, anxiety, and discomfort will all be minimized.

How Is Oral Conscious Sedation Administered?

Oral conscious sedation is typically given to you by Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean about 45 minutes to an hour before your procedure. You’ll simply take the pills, and they’ll be digested and processed through your bloodstream, just like any other over-the-counter medication. Liquid oral sedatives can also be used, in some cases, for children or adults who have trouble swallowing pills.

Are There Any Side Effects I Need To Know About?

The side effects of oral conscious sedation are usually minimal, but can be somewhat uncomfortable. The main thing to know is that you will not be able to drive for several hours after taking your sedative. Your motor functions will be impaired, so you will need to make alternative travel arrangements.

Beyond this, some of the effects that could result from oral conscious sedation are:

  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Ataxia (loss of balance)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Drooling or dry mouth

Most of these effects will wear off within a few hours, and can be minimized by choosing the proper medication, and the correct dosage.

Who Shouldn’t Use Oral Conscious Sedation?

While most patients can take oral conscious without risk, there are a few contraindications (signs that oral conscious sedation should not be used). Oral conscious sedation should not be administered to:

  • Patients with a history of drug use or a high tolerance for certain drugs
  • Patients with sedative allergies
  • Pregnant or nursing patients
  • Patients suffering from depression or bipolar disorders
  • Patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma.

During your consultation, Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean will decide whether or not you can be sedated, based on this information, and other health and lifestyle-related factors.

Come To Green Leaf Dental For Expert Sedation Dentistry

At Green Leaf Dental, we offer a complete suite of sedation dentistry services for both adults and children. Dr. Yoni and Dr. Bean will develop a custom sedation plan that’s tailored to your specific needs and anxieties. In the spirit of this, we hope this guide has helped you understand oral conscious sedation.


If you want to learn more, please feel free to schedule a consultation at our practice. Whether you’re in Seward Park, Rainier Valley, Columbia City, or Beacon Hill, we’d be happy to hear from you. Contact us now at (206) 316-2351, or come to our office in Seattle at 4219 S Othello Street, #105-D&E, Seattle, WA 98118. We’ll see you soon!

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