Sedation Dentist – Waco, TX

Enjoy a More Relaxing Dental Experience

Smiling man in white dress shirt outdoors after sedation dentistry in Waco

At Premier Family Dental, Dr. Cofer and Dr. McNutt understand that undergoing dental treatment of any kind can be difficult for some. Both children and adults often experience dental anxiety, causing them to forgo appointments and neglect their oral healthcare over time. As a result, this often leads to serious problems that require time and money to fix. If you struggle to feel comfortable visiting the dentist’s office because of a previous traumatic experience, a sensitive gag reflex, or even the inability to sit still because of a physical disability, sedation dentistry in Waco may be the solution for you. With sedation dentistry, Dr. Cofer and Dr. McNutt can help you feel more relaxed during your next appointment, allowing you to receive the treatment you need for a healthier smile. Contact us today to find out more about dental sedation.

Relaxed woman in dental chair with eyes closed thanks to sedation dentistry

Why Choose Premier Family Dental for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Relaxing, Fast-Acting Nitrous Oxide
  • Safe, Effective Oral Conscious Sedation
  • Knowledgeable Dentist and Staff

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide and oxygen buttons on nitrous oxide sedation dentistry machine

You likely know nitrous oxide by another name: laughing gas. It earned this nickname because it puts patients in a euphoric state, causing them to feel utterly relaxed and anxiety-free. So, if you have a fear of the dentist, you’re scared of a specific procedure, or something else entirely, don’t hesitate to let us know! We can determine if you’re a good candidate for this mild sedative and, if you are, use it to help you have the positive experience you deserve in the treatment chair.

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Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Dentist smiling while talking to patient in treatment chair

If you’re interested in this calming sedation dentistry option, then we recommend scheduling an appointment with our Waco dental team so we can learn more about your medical and dental history. After all, there are some patients who aren’t candidates, including those with conditions that make it difficult to breathe through their nose. With all of that said, many patients are candidates for nitrous oxide since it’s so mild – it’s even safe for children! So, if you struggle with dental-related anxiety, experience dental sensitivity, or have a fear of needles, don’t hesitate to reach out; nitrous oxide may be the solution you’ve been looking for!

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Dental assistant placing nasal piece over patient's nose

To administer nitrous oxide, we will place a small mask over your nose. After a few minutes of inhaling the odorless, colorless gas, you’ll begin to feel the effects. Most often, patients report feeling light, relaxed, and completely stress-free. As a result, you’ll be completely comfortable throughout your entire appointment, even if you don’t usually like the sights and sounds of a dental office. Plus, you’ll be awake the entire time, so you can easily respond to the verbal cues we give you, ask any questions you have, or even request more or less of the nitrous.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Smiling man sitting in dental office

Once we’re done, we will switch off the nitrous oxide and remove the nasal mask. It doesn’t take very long for the effects to dissipate, so you’ll be able to return to work or drive yourself home once your appointment is complete! Of course, if there are any aftercare instructions specific to the preventive, restorative, or cosmetic care you received, then we will provide you with those before you leave. As always, if you have any questions even after you return home, you’re more than welcome to give us a call too.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Person holding pill and glass of water

Sometimes, dental anxiety can get intense. A patient would then need more than a mild sedative to calm down. Luckily, oral conscious sedation in Waco is just right for these cases. It gives you a deeper relaxation than what nitrous oxide offers. As such, patients with stronger fears can still get crucial dental care. We’ll gladly explain the details if you’d like. To that end, just continue reading or contact our office for the facts you want.

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What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

A dentist performing treatment on a sedated patient

Put simply, oral conscious sedation is a way to ease strong dental fears. It uses a powerful sedative to calm the patient for treatment. This process has effects more intense than nitrous oxide, so it’s ideal for those with severe anxiety, fear, or discomfort.

Rather than needles or face masks, oral conscious sedation is applied with a pill. You take this medicine just before your visit or right when you arrive. (Here at Premier Family Dental, the pill is Halcion.) Once ingested, it’ll start relieving your anxiety within fifteen minutes.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

A blurred woman holding a pill between her fingers

Generally, oral conscious sedation isn’t that complex. It takes little time to implement and doesn’t involve a big setup. As a result, it’s considered an easy form of sedation dentistry.

As stated before, oral conscious sedation works through a pill. This medicine’s main effect is a deep level of calm and relaxation. (In fact, you may feel so relaxed that you don’t remember the visit afterward.) While this comfort takes hold, Drs. Cofer and McNutt will proceed with your treatment. They’ll also monitor your condition to ensure you remain safe.

Rest assured, oral conscious sedation won’t make you fall asleep. It should leave you alert enough to respond to our dental team’s guidance. That said, you’ll likely feel woozy after your procedure. You’ll thus want someone to drive you home from the visit. After all, the pill’s effects can take hours to fade.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

A dentist talking with his patient about oral conscious sedation

From kids to adults, most patients can qualify for oral conscious sedation. Its only major requirement is that you have good health. So long as you’re in decent shape, there shouldn’t be any trouble.

Of course, this sedation does benefit some patients more than others. The best candidates are usually those who:

  • Have strong dental fear, anxiety, or nervousness
  • Often cancel or reschedule dental visits due to unease
  • Suffer from an overly sensitive gag reflex
  • Require many dental procedures or one long treatment for a single visit
  • Struggle to keep their mouth open during treatment
  • Don’t react well to local anesthesia
  • Dealt with poor dental experiences in the past

All that said, it’s best to consult our dentists to learn your candidacy. They can assess your background to see if oral conscious sedation suits you.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Woman relaxing in dental chair with eyes closed

If you are a patient who has experienced or is currently experiencing any of the following situations, there is a good chance you’ll be eligible to receive sedation dentistry:

  • Past traumatic experience at a dentist’s office
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Inability to sit for extended periods due to a physical disability
  • Fear of needles
  • Inability to be sedated using other methods
  • Have moderate dental anxiety that prevents you from seeking regular oral healthcare
  • You require multiple dental procedures during one visit

It is important that you inform your sedation dentist in Waco about your medical history before receiving oral conscious sedation. If you are taking any current medications, you may be required to stop taking them for a specified period before your appointment.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

If you suffer from dental anxiety, a sedation dentist in Waco may be the answer you’re looking for! However, it pays to be well-informed. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about sedation dentistry. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t worry! Contact our team here at Premier Family Dental and we will be happy to answer your questions and schedule an appointment when you’re ready.


The use of Halcion, which is a type of sleeping pill we use for oral conscious sedation, can help to reduce your anxiety and become more comfortable while undergoing dental treatment. Not only is it safe and effective for children and adults, but according to the National Institute of Health, it is great for procedures that may require 2-4 hours to complete. If necessary, your dentist may provide you with an extra dose depending on the duration of your treatment. Before deciding whether to administer sedation, our dentist will go over your medical history and current medications to ensure there won’t be any negative interactions. While you’re sedated, our team will closely monitor your vitals at all times to make sure you are perfectly safe.


One of the great benefits of Halcion is that you will be unlikely to remember much, if anything, from your visit, so any anxiety and dental fear in Waco will be significantly lessened for future appointments. It is necessary, however, that you have someone escort you to and from the dentist’s office, as it does take time for the effects to wear off.


While keeping you awake, sedation dentistry can actually suppress your body’s ability to register pain. Even if you do experience some discomfort, you are more likely to feel pressure than pain. Depending on your procedure, your dentist may also numb your mouth with a local anesthetic to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your procedure.


Because oral conscious sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide, there is a slightly higher risk of nausea. Just to be safe, your dentist will likely recommend that you don’t eat for a few hours before your procedure. If you have trouble skipping meals, you may want to schedule your appointment in the early morning. If you are prone to feeling nauseous, simply let your dentist know and they can adjust accordingly.