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During sedation, you are placed under a relaxed, semi-conscious state by receiving a sedative drug or inhalation sedation that enables you to be receptive to dental treatment, whilst retaining the ability to respond to your dental team looking after you.

What is Sedation?


What is Sedation?

Sedation differs from anaesthesia in that it puts you in a drowsy, comfortable state, but you remain conscious. Under anaesthesia however, you are fully unconscious and will not be able to respond. 


Having dental treatments under sedation would help to put you at ease and handle invasive procedures such as having multiple wisdom teeth removed or having dental implants to replace missing teeth.

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Why Should You Have Your Treatment Under Sedation?

Dental Fear

If you are nervous about visiting the dentist (do not worry, up to 80% of people are!) or are fearful about a particular dental procedure (for example, having a dental injection), sedation (on the peak of other relaxation techniques) can help to put your nerves at ease.

Overcome Your Dental Fear

After having completed your dental treatment under sedation successfully, you will have potential in gaining confidence over your dental fears long-term because you will have been semi-conscious yet comfortable throughout the process, therefore you can be educated in feeling confident about any future dental treatment. This is unlike general anaesthesia which does not offer you this since you will be fully asleep.

Invasive Dental Treatment

Sedation can also give you that extra confidence to enhance invasive dental procedures such as multiple wisdom teeth removal, multiple tooth extractions, placement of multiple dental implants or All-on-4, etc.

Reduced Risk of Complications

Having sedation over general anaesthesia carries a lower risk of complications of post-operative side effects such as nausea, headaches, sore throat, etc., and risk of mortality/death – 1 in 3 million for sedation vs 1 in 500,000 for general anaesthesia (although such risk for both methods is considered very low).

Certain Medical Conditions

Sedation is a game-changer for patients with certain medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Cerebral Palsy to receive safer and comfortable dental treatment. It also helps some patients avoid the stress that may come from having dental procedures, which can otherwise aggravate their existing heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, etc.

Excessive Gag Reflex

If you are someone that has an excessive gag reflex to the point where you cannot tolerate having a dental instrument in your mouth, sedation is likely to benefit the ease at which you can have a dental procedure done.

What Are the Different Types of Sedation?

Oral Sedation

  • Oral sedation involves swallowing a sedative medication in a pill form approximately one hour before your dental treatment to help you relax. This method tends to be used to help patients with extreme needle phobia. It is easy to administer (as you solely have to take a pill), and comes at a cheaper financial cost than IV sedation or a General Anaesthesia. However, the sedative effects produced can sometimes be unpredictable, i.e. may affect one patient to a longer, much larger extent than another, therefore it can be difficult to control.


Intravenous (IV) Sedation

  • Intravenous (IV) sedation is a predictable form of sedation, which involves delivering a customisable amount of sedative drug through your veins. This method gives your dentist control in ensuring that you are constantly sedated at the correct level throughout your treatment. However, it does require cannulation on your arm (similar to when having a General Anaesthesia).


Inhalation Sedation

  • For inhalation sedation, Nitrous oxide - also commonly known as “laughing gas”- is a colourless gas with a slight sweet smell that is largely used. It is usually administered with oxygen, and affects your central nervous system, relieving anxiety and mitigating unpleasant feelings of discomfort and pain.
  • You remain conscious, and so are still able to hear and respond to your dentist while at the same time being able to tolerate painful procedures. You may feel light-headed as you experience the effects of the gas.
  • This method has been proven to be safe - patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

What Are the Different Types of Sedation?


What Does the Procedure Involve?

Stage 1: Initial Consultation

  • Your dentist will take time to explore your concerns and conduct a general health assessment, then discuss your suitable options on how you can receive dental treatment confidently.
  • If sedation or general anaesthesia is agreed upon, you will be advised on how long you will need to fast before the procedure, what time to arrive in advance of your procedure, and the post-operative care required (see below).

Stage 3: Post-Operative Care

  • After treatment is completed, the sedative effects are likely to linger, so you will need to plan ahead. It is necessary for a reliable family member or friend to accompany you home via appropriate transport and take care of you after.
  • You also cannot drive, operate any machinery, drink alcohol, or go to work for the next 24 hours. It will also be normal not to remember full details about your appointment.

Stage 2: Sedation and Dental Treatment

  • You receive either on Oral, IV or inhalation sedation. Once you are adequately sedated, your dentist will proceed to complete your dental treatment.
  • You will be in a semi-conscious state of mind, but able to feedback and respond to your dental team.
  • Your vital signs (such as heart rate, oxygen levels, etc.One-stop) will be closely monitored to ensure that they are at adequate levels.

What Are the Risks Involved?

  • Sedation commonly performed to aid certain groups of patients listed above in their acceptance of dental care and is generally considered safe.
  • Some patients may experience some post-operative side effects such as stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, headache, sore throat, and cardiac or respiratory issues.
  • These effects vary largely between individuals and are mostly minor and temporary. The most severe risk is a 1 in 3 million chance of mortality/death, but this is considered to be extremely low.


What Are the Risks Involved?


Can Everyone Have Sedation?

IV sedation is not suitable for: 


  • Children;
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women;
  • Patients with severe lung disease (e.g. COPD);
  • Patients with heart disease (e.g. poorly controlled high blood pressure, severe arrhythmias);
  • Patients with impaired liver or kidney function;
  • Patients with severe psychiatric disease;
  • Patients with learning difficulties;
  • Patients with poor or friable veins;
  • Allergy to Benzodiazepines.

Can Everyone Have Sedation?

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Book an Appointment

Fill out the form for any request or questions you have and we will contact you within one working day..

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Why Choose Nuffield Dental?

Nuffield Dental is a one-stop, multi-disciplinary dental care centre. At Nuffield, we put you first. We believe in providing personalised service for each patient.

Dental care

Nuffield Dental is a one-stop, multi-disciplinary dental care centre. Here at Nuffield Dental, we pride ourselves of our personalised oral care for each and every one of our patients. We need to make sure you get all the help you need to make your dental procedures comfortable, accessible and seamless.


Our dentists have specialised in treating nervous patients for 20+ years. We have accredited dental providers who are skilled in the area of dental implant surgery.

Sedation Costs in Singapore?

Please call one of our Nuffield Dental clinics in Singapore for pricing details.

Call 65 6833 4353
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