Conscious Sedation or Moderate Sedation

Probably most common with children and pediatric dentistry, conscious sedation is designed to help your child become more relaxed without having to put the patient to sleep, hence the term Conscious sedation. Children especially can be nervous when it comes to visiting the dentist and so conscious sedation is used to help relax your child, yet keep them conscious and alert, and fully capable of responding to others.


Children are more anxious to visit the dentist, which is completely normal. For the child who is overly anxious, they may need sedation that is a bit stronger than nitrous oxide. These stronger remedies for sedation are most commonly referred to as oral sedation.

Oral sedation at the dentist can come in the form of several different types of medicines and are given by mouth (thus the type oral). Some things to consider when choosing the best oral sedation medicine would be things like:

Anxiety level of your child

Ability to cooperate with the dentist and staff

Treatment considerations

With oral sedation, your child may become sleepy and/or fall asleep completely during the treatment. In most cases, the patient can easily be aroused and become responsive to simple comments or commands. After treatment is complete, the patient may be asked to remain resting so the dentist and staff can continue observing the patient for any signs or symptoms that may arise from the sedation. And at the end of the treatment, a child may have to be carried home by the parent as a result of the sedation.