Dr. Polly T. Michaels, DMD, DABOI/ID, FICOI, AFAAID Diplomate, American Board of Oral ImplantologyCALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT352.597.1100


Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is a wonderful option for patients who need more than nitrous oxide, but don’t need or want IV Sedation or general anesthesia. It allows many people to be comfortably sedated through an entire dental visit using just pills. Sometimes nitrous oxide is also used to sedate you more.

What is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation is a method of conscious sedation where Dr. Michaels uses pills to sedate a patient. Most healthy adults are good candidates for oral sedation. For some, comfortable dentistry is as simple as taking one small pill.


What is Conscious Sedation?
Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high-fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, Dr. Michaels is able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one, if so desired. There are a number of conscious sedation techniques, but they all have certain things in common. While the goal of general anesthesia is for the patient to sleep, in dentistry it is much more common to use conscious sedation, where the patient is sedated and comfortable. When Dr. Michaels uses conscious sedation, sometimes feel like you are asleep, even if you are not completely. That’s because sedation feels so relaxing and peaceful that you may leave the appointment, rest at home, and awaken to wonder if you even went to the dentist office. Many of the medications used in conscious sedation have an amnesiac effect as well, leaving patients with little or no memory of their dental appointment.

Is Oral Sedation for me?
Oral sedation is wonderful and incredibly effective for most healthy adults. For many, it is the answer they have been looking for all their life. Discuss sedation with Dr. Michaels if any of the following sounds like you

  • You are uncomfortable in the dentist’s office
  • You are too scared to even call the dentist and make an appointment
  • You can’t stand the smell and sounds of the dentist’s office
  • You are delaying treatment you know you need
  • You are in pain when you eat, but too anxious about the dentist to take care of it
  • You are unable to find a dentist that you feel you can trust
  • You have trouble getting numb – the anesthetic doesn’t seem to work on you
  • You are afraid to smile
  • You are concerned about how many dental appointments you know you’ll need
  • You are looking for a way to have the work of several appointments done in just one or two
  • You remember bad experiences with a dentist in your past
  • You need your wisdom teeth removed
  • You have sensitive teeth
  • You have a strong gag reflex, especially when the dentist is working in your mouth
  • You have trouble with jaw soreness when you have to keep your mouth open
  • You have back or neck pain when you sit in a dental chair
  • You have sensitive teeth
  • You are afraid of needles

What can I expect from Oral Sedation?
There are many different medications and sedation techniques, so it is best to get specifics from Dr. Michaels. Generally, you will be given a prescription for a pill to take before your appointment. Since this is sedative medication, you will need a companion to drive you to the appointment. Once you arrive, Dr. Michaels will begin monitoring your vital signs, including heart rate and blood pressure, to make sure that you stay completely safe through the procedure. She will then assess your level of sedation, and ask how you feel. She may use more medication at this time. The dentistry will all be performed while you are relaxed and totally comfortable. When it is safe for you to travel, your companion will take you home, and then you will rest comfortably for the rest of the day.

Is Oral Sedation safe?
While all methods of sedation are very safe, the history of oral sedation has been especially safe as well as very effective. Dr. Michaels uses common medications that are extremely safe and widely prescribed. These are the same type of medications used for some outpatient surgeries and procedures like colonoscopies. Your health and reactions to the medications will be constantly monitored from the moment you arrive at the office, through the appointment, and until Dr. Michaels is certain you are ready to leave. In fact, the entire dental team is highly trained in safety and emergency procedures, making the dentist office one of the safest places you can be!

Sedation Dentistry