Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Sedation in Children

Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Sedation in Children

Apr 01, 2020

Oral sedation is defined as a technique that dentists use to help their patients get over fear for dentistry procedures. Dental fear and anxiety prevent many patients from receiving proper dental care.

Unlike the other sedation methods, the sedative is in the form of a pill. The patient will swallow the pill an hour before the commencement of the dental procedure. This sedative slows brain activity, thus controlling anxiety and fear. Consequently, you will be in a calm and relaxed mood, allowing the dentist to carry on with the procedure without difficulties.


  • Ease in Administering: A pill will be prescribed for you to release the anxiety build-up. Of the three sedation methods, oral sedation has proved ease in that you just have to take the pill an hour prior to the procedure.
  • No Needles, no Problems: Many patients who dread dentist visits also abhor the needle. In the other sedation forms, e.g., IV sedation, the dentist uses a needle to administer the sedative. With this sedation, you will comfortably swallow the pill, and the worry of being pricked is eliminated.
  • Amnesia: The dosage is a strong one. You won’t remember much about the procedure. Patients with dental fears will benefit greatly as they won’t recall any of what happened when they were in a sedation state.
  • Safety: The FDA regulates all oral sedatives. There are, therefore, little to no chances of experiencing any serious side effects.
  • Responsiveness: Although drowsiness may be experienced when under pill sedation, you will remain awake, and you will also respond to the dentist’s instructions.
  • Saves Time: Normally, time-consuming dental procedures may be completed in the shortest time possible when you are sedated. The need for numerous appointments is eliminated. Your dentist also will be able to do more in a short time.
  • Relaxation: There exists a group of patients that cannot control their movements: Parkinson’s disease patients, ADHD patients, and autistics. Sedating them puts these patients at ease and allows the dentist to perform dental procedures without uncontrolled movements or resistance from them.
  • Affordability: of the three sedation methods, oral sedation is the most affordable one.


  • It may be a bit slower: after the administration of the sedative, their effects will begin to kick in almost immediately. It is different from oral sedation because you won’t feel the effects immediately. That is why your dentists advise you to take the pill an hour before the appointment.
  • Rigidity in Sedation Level: because the effect of oral sedation takes time before beginning to kick in, increasing the dosage too is likely to take time. People metabolize pills differently, and so it is difficult telling the amount of time that will elapse before the effects kick in.
  • You will require Company: the sedative pill causes you relaxation and drowsiness. You will need to bring along a family member or friend to see you to the dentist and back home.
  • Inadequacy: oral sedation may be of great help to patients exhibiting signs of mild or moderate anxiety and fear levels. When it comes to those with anxiety levels that are higher, it may prove ineffective.
  • Monitoring Requirements: because of the unexpected effects oral sedation may have on the respiratory and cardiovascular functions in the event of over-dosage, monitoring throughout the whole procedure is required. The need is even higher for patients whose health is not perfect and are at more significant risks of having complications.
  • Prolonged Action Duration: the effects of oral sedation last or several hours after completion of the procedure, whereas those of other forms of sedation wear off quickly, enabling you to resume your normal activities almost immediately.

Because of the prolonged recovery time for oral sedatives, several restrictions may apply for the first 24 hours after the procedure. You will be advised against driving, operating machinery, undertaking responsibility positions and making vital decisions.

It is recommended to pay your dentist a visit at least two times a year. Dental conditions of patients with dental fear worsen if not addressed. With oral sedation, this issue is quickly dealt with.

If you are looking for a kid’s dentist in Houston, your answer is Pediatric Dental Wellness. Our pediatric dentist specialists are experts in children’s dental care. Call us today and book an appointment.