Sedation Dentistry in Salt Lake City, UT


Discover Anxiety-Free Dental Care at SLC Family Dental

Avoiding the dentist due to anxiety or fear is incredibly common. Putting off necessary dental care often leads to more complex and expensive interventions later on to treat issues like tooth decay, gum infection, and tooth loss. Our Salt Lake City, UT, dentist, Dr. Robert Palmer, offers sedation dentistry to patients struggling with mild to extreme dental anxiety. 

Call SLC Dental today at (801) 355-6997 to explore our sedation options with Dr. Palmer.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves using medication to induce varying levels of relaxation before and during dental procedures. This treatment allows Dr. Palmer to complete treatments while patients experience little to no anxiety or discomfort. 

The level of sedation ranges from minimal to moderate to make you drowsy and easily relaxed. You’ll remain conscious enough to respond to questions and requests so Dr. Palmer can watch your condition throughout the procedures.

patient going under oral sedation


sedation dentistry


Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide sedation involves inhaling nitrous oxide gas to produce a calm, euphoric sensation. Though you’ll remain fully conscious, you may feel like you’re floating while any feelings of fear or anxiety fade away.

person taking oral sedation


Oral Conscious Sedation: For more extensive treatments like wisdom tooth extractions, root canals, or dental implants, Dr. Palmer may prescribe oral sedation. After taking the pill at home before your appointment, the oral sedation will make you drowsy but still conscious and able to follow requests.

Dentist giving a checkup

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

Do any of these dental anxiety symptoms seem familiar? Recognizing these signs means sedation dentistry may help you:

  • Avoiding the dentist for years due to fear
  • Canceling or not showing up to appointments
  • Feeling extremely restless, tense, or frightened in the waiting room
  • Breaking out in a sweat or crying when it’s time for the dentist
  • Experiencing a racing heart, nausea, vomiting, or faintness
  • Requiring multiple reminders to open wide or difficulty doing so due to anxiety

If untreated, dental phobias lead to poor oral health and a greater risk of decay, infection, and tooth loss. The good news? Sedation dentistry offers a compassionate, judgment-free solution.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

From cavities to root canals, sedation dentistry makes virtually any oral health procedure possible with zero discomfort or memories of fear. Specific benefits include:

  • Complete Relaxation: Oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are deeply relaxing before, during, and after procedures. This allows for a positive experience rather than enduring distress.
  • Accurate Treatment: A calm state means Dr. Palmer can carry out procedures with precision rather than struggling against patient movement due to discomfort.
  • Amnesia: Many patients have little to no memory of their procedures thanks to the short-term amnesiac effects of sedation.
  • Faster Healing: Relaxed patients avoid trauma that leads to delayed healing. Relaxation also aligns well with a healthy immune system.
  • Prevention: Sedation dentistry allows regular visits to maintain oral health rather than emergency trips for infection or tooth loss due to phobia-induced avoidance.

The Sedation Dentistry Process at SLC Family Dental

If you decide sedation dentistry meets your needs, here’s what to expect at your appointment with Dr. Palmer:


Before your scheduled visit, avoid eating or drinking for six to 12 hours as directed to prevent nausea. Arrange transportation because dental sedation inhibits your motor skills.

Initial Exam

Dr. Palmer meets with you, explains proposed dental procedures, answers questions, reviews medical history, and takes baseline vitals like blood pressure. This is also a perfect time to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.


If you opt for oral sedation, you’ll take the pill per Dr. Palmer’s instructions. For nitrous oxide, a small breathing mask gets gently placed over your nose 10 minutes before procedures begin.


As the sedative takes effect, Dr. Palmer checks to ensure you are fully relaxed before starting dental treatments while monitoring your pulse, oxygen saturation, and other vitals. Scented oxygen keeps you comfortable.


Once dental treatments finish, you’ll move to a relaxation area while the sedative wears off fully. Dr. Palmer or a team member reviews post-sedation instructions with your transportation.

Post-Sedation Dentistry Guide

Be sure to follow Dr. Palmer’s instructions for smooth healing:

  • Transportation: For safe travels home.
  • Rest: Take it easy the rest of the day.
  • Hydration: Drink extra fluids.
  • Medication: Complete any prescribed medication.
  • Food: Start with soft foods, then return to a normal diet.
  • Activity: Avoid operating vehicles or machinery for 24 hours.

Call our Salt Lake City office with concerns like bleeding or nausea and schedule a follow-up visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your sedation dentist’s top priority is each patient’s safety and comfort. Modern sedative medications plus monitoring equipment can lower risks. Healthy patients sedated under trained supervision have low sedation complication rates.

Most insurance plans cover varying sedation dentistry costs, especially for impacted wisdom teeth removal or extensive treatments. Connect with your benefits provider to find out specifics on copays, coinsurance rates, maximums, and preauthorization requirements for sedation codes.

Yes, dental sedation can help patients feel more comfortable and reduce their gag reflex sensitivity. Excessive gag reflexes compound dental anxiety, and using sedation helps suppress the feeling.

Yes, you must arrange transportation to and from appointments involving any level of sedation due to impaired motor skills that make driving unsafe as the sedative wears off. Lyft, Uber, or a trusted friend/family member are great options for rides.

Ready to Give Sedation Dentistry a Try?

If dental fears have prevented you from going to the dentist, delay no more with the help of sedation dentistry. Reach out to SLC Family Dental today to meet Dr. Robert Palmer for a consultation. He’ll listen with empathy, thoroughly explain sedation choices and procedures, and ensure optimal oral health — anxiety and discomfort-free. 

Call (801) 355-6997 today to schedule your consultation with our Salt Lake City, UT dentists. We’re here to help patients feel comfortable at the dentist!