Sedation Dentistry

Anaesthesia and Sedation: Patients Guidelines

Fear of dental pain is the most popular reason adults above the age of 24 years avoid the dentist. This doesn’t need to be the case! The Barnhart Dental team prioritizes our patients’ safety and comfort, and as such, we have several options available to ensure your maximum comfort during dental procedures.

There are several options which Dr. John Barnhart and Dr. Joseph Barnhart offer to our patients for sedation during dental treatments, and these are described below to help you decide which might be most appropriate for you.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is used by the Barnhart Dental team to numb a specific location in your mouth during a dental procedure. It blocks the sensory channels (nerves) at the site, so although you’re awake and responsive during the procedure, you won’t feel any work being done on that area of your mouth.



If needed, sedatives can be administered during or prior to a dental procedure. There are several forms of dental sedation available to our patients, including inhalation, injection, or pills. Dr. John and Joseph Barnhart will talk through your concerns and anxiety and develop a personal sedation plan with you based around your needs. The most popular options for sedation are:

  • Nitrous Oxide – this is an odorless gas which creates a feeling of euphoria that overtakes the entire body within just a few minutes of administration. It has been used extensively by many dental professionals because of its effectiveness and safety, as well as the fact that it imparts no residual hangover to the patient. Nitrous oxide is probably the most popular sedation method used in the dental industry, because it works on everyone, and because its effects dissipate immediately when the gas supply is turned off.
  • Conscious Oral Sedation – Many of our Vienna patients choose this method of sedation because it’s very easy, just taking one or more pills has the effect of calming all fears, and allowing you to relax during any dental procedure. You are awake throughout the entire process, and can even respond to conversation with members of your Vienna dental team. Some patients do become so relaxed that they fall asleep, and only regain consciousness after the treatment has been completed. This method works well on most patients, but you must be driven to and from an appointment.

Preparation Prior To Receiving Anaesthesia

At least 12 hours prior to receiving anesthesia or a sedative, it is highly recommended that patients stop smoking or using other tobacco productions, as tobacco intake dramatically slows the healing process.

All of our patients are given specific instructions by Dr. John or Joseph Barnhart, but in most cases, patients are required to fast from food and fluids for 8 hours pre-appointment time. Make sure you are accompanied by an adult who will be able to drive you home, as the sedative and anesthesia will still be affecting you. Ensure that you leave any jewelry at home, as that might interfere with the treatment. The Barnhart Dental team will work with you closely prior to any dental treatment to ensure that your experience is safe and comfortable.

If you would like more information, give us a call at (573) 422-3612


Barnhart Dental
1406 Highway 63 South
Vienna, MO 65582

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