Helping Your Stay Calm in the Dental Chair

More than half of all Americans deal with some degree of nervousness or fear when they think about visiting a dentist. They end up putting off their regular dental checkups or even necessary dental work due to their anxiety, leading to oral health issues that require more extensive and costly dental treatment later on. At Seaside Family Dentistry, we don’t want your oral health to suffer just because you get nervous in the dental chair. That’s why Dr. Alan Kellner, a trusted sedation dentist in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has options to help you relax enough to get the care your smile needs. Keep reading below to learn about the different types of sedation dentistry we offer, and how it can benefit you.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide Sedation

For mild cases of dental anxiety, we offer an easy solution with nitrous oxide. This calming solution is extremely popular because it’s effective, easy-to-administer, and fast-acting. Plus, it helps patients who would’ve otherwise avoided the dentist get the essential dental care they need in a positive, stress-free environment. To learn more about this sedation option, read on!


Fortunately, many patients who struggle with dental-related anxiety are candidates for nitrous oxide! Most often, we recommend it for patients who:

  • Are scared of needles

  • Have trouble staying calm and comfortable in the treatment chair

  • Have a strong gag reflex

  • Have difficulty feeling numb with local anesthesia

Of course, we will need to learn more about your medical and dental history beforehand since there are some patients who are not good candidates for nitrous oxide, including patients who are pregnant.


This sedative is administered through a nasal cannula. Once you start inhaling the gas, you should feel waves of euphoria wash over you. You’ll reach such a deep state of relaxation that you’ll be able to receive the dental treatment you need without the usual nervousness. When the procedure is over, we’ll simply remove the cannula and take you to a waiting area. That’s it!


One of the biggest perks of nitrous oxide is that the effects wear off quickly and don’t cause any lingering side effects. As a result, you can drive yourself back to work or home and resume your day as normal after your appointment! Note: if your mouth was numbed during your treatment, then we recommend not eating anything until you’ve regained sensation. This will help avoid accidentally biting your tongue, lips, or cheeks.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Patients with a more severe form of dental anxiety may be candidates for oral conscious sedation. This form of dentistry involves taking a pill about an hour prior to your appointment, allowing you to be completely relaxed while remaining conscious during your treatment. Most patients claim they don’t even remember their procedure due to the powerful effects of oral conscious sedation. Here’s what you can expect from this method of relaxation.


Oral conscious sedation is an incredibly sought-after option for making patients comfortable and relaxed during dental procedures. After we’ve reviewed your medical history and any current medications and allergies that you might have, we’ll be able to determine if you’re eligible for this sedation method. If you are, your dentist can prescribe a pill that you’ll be required to take an hour before your visit. Once you arrive at our office, you’ll likely already be comfortable and prepared for your procedure.


This treatment is given in the form of a powerful anti-anxiety pill that is taken an hour or more before your procedure is set to begin. By the time you get settled in the dental chair, you’ll be so relaxed and groggy that you won’t be very aware of your surroundings. While you’ll still be awake enough to respond to our requests, you likely won’t remember the details of your treatment. Because the effects of the pill can last for several hours, you should plan to have a trusted friend or family member drive you to and from our office and keep an eye on you for the rest of the day.


This method of sedation is best used for those who have:

  • Dental phobias or anxieties – If thoughts of going to the dentist frighten you or make you on edge, oral conscious sedation can be ideal for helping you calm down.

  • Sensitive gag reflex – Those who gag simply due to tastes, smells, and/or the presence of dental equipment can benefit greatly from oral conscious sedation. You’ll be able to remain relaxed while your dentist can perform their work more effectively.

  • Extensive treatment – If you require complex or numerous procedures, oral conscious sedation can help you stay still while being comfortable throughout your appointment.

  • Increased sensitivity – Oral conscious sedation can help alleviate any sensitivities in your teeth or gums, providing greater comfort during your treatment.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

In addition to helping all kinds of patients receive the care they need without dealing with debilitating anxiety, sedation dentistry offers several other benefits, including

  • Most dental sedatives have an amnesiac effect, so you often won’t remember the procedure afterward. This can reduce your fear of subsequent visits.

  • Sedation typically paralyzes the gag reflex.

  • The brain is incapable of registering pain while under the effects of these sedatives.

  • Our team can work more quickly since they don’t have to worry about you having a negative reaction to the treatment, so your appointment will be over sooner.

  • Patients with chronic anxiety might even enjoy improved mental health after conquering one of their fears with sedation dentistry.

Have you been avoiding seeing the dentist because you’re nervous? If so, contact us today to learn whether sedation dentistry is right for you. We look forward to helping you stay calm in the dental chair!