Sedation Dentistry In Auburn, IN

Experience Comfort and Confidence With Sedation Dentistry

Are you one of the many people who feel anxious or uneasy at the thought of visiting the dentist? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is a common concern that can prevent individuals from seeking the oral care they need. Fortunately, at Smiles for Life, our Auburn, IN dentist, Dr. Nate Heffelfinger offers a solution that can transform your dental experience from a source of stress into a comfortable, relaxed affair: sedation dentistry.

If you struggle with dental anxiety and are interested in experiencing the comfort of sedation dentistry, call Dr. Heffelfinger today at 260-925-4290. 

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry that employs various levels of sedation or anesthesia to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during dental procedures. It is particularly beneficial for individuals who experience dental anxiety, fear, or have difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are three main types of sedation dentistry that cater to different levels of anxiety and the nature of the dental procedure. Here are the most common types:

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

This is a mild form of sedation administered through a mask placed over your nose. It helps you relax during the procedure but wears off quickly once the gas is turned off.

Oral Sedation

This involves taking a prescribed sedative pill before the procedure. It provides a deeper level of relaxation than nitrous oxide and may make you drowsy, but you’ll still be conscious.

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation is administered through a vein, allowing the dentist to adjust the level of sedation during the procedure. This type of sedation can range from mild to moderate, and it induces a state of deep relaxation.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

  • Reduced Anxiety and Fear: Sedation dentistry helps patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during their visit, making it easier for them to receive necessary dental care.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Sedation allows patients to remain calm and at ease throughout the procedure. This is especially beneficial for individuals with sensitive teeth, strong gag reflexes, or those undergoing lengthy or complex treatments.
  • Increased Cooperation and Compliance: Sedation can improve a patient’s ability to cooperate during the procedure. It makes it easier for the dentist to perform the necessary work without interruptions due to discomfort or anxiety.
  • Pain Relief: While sedation itself does not replace local anesthesia, it works in conjunction with it. Patients are still administered local anesthesia to ensure they do not feel pain during the procedure. However, sedation can help diminish the perception of discomfort.
  • Time Efficiency: With a relaxed and cooperative patient, dentists often find that procedures can be completed more efficiently. This can be especially advantageous for complex treatments or for patients who may have difficulty sitting for extended periods.
  • Improved Experience for Special Needs Patients: Sedation dentistry can be particularly beneficial for individuals with special needs, such as those with autism, cognitive impairments, or physical disabilities, as it can help create a more comfortable and manageable experience.

The Sedation Dentistry Procedure

The sedation dentistry process will vary depending on the type of sedation you choose. However, you’ll usually experience the following steps when you opt for dental sedation:

Health Assessment

Before administering any sedation, your experienced Auburn dentist will thoroughly evaluate your medical history, current health status, and any medications they may be taking. This assessment helps determine the most suitable sedation method and dosage. If your sedation appointment is on a different day, Dr. Heffelfinger will provide pre-appointment instructions.


Once you’ve chosen the appropriate sedation, you’ll either begin your treatment or return to the dental office for your appointment. Dr. Heffelfinger will then administer the chosen method of sedation. However, if you choose oral conscious sedation, you’ll likely receive it in a pill or liquid form to take at home before arriving.


Regardless of the sedation method, your Auburn dentist and his skilled team will continuously monitor your vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, to ensure your safety throughout the procedure.


Once you’re adequately sedated, Dr. Heffelfinger can perform the necessary dental work. You will remain comfortable and relaxed during this time.


After the procedure is complete, you’ll be monitored in a recovery area until you’re alert and stable enough to be discharged. The effects of sedation will gradually wear off, but you may feel drowsy for some time afterward.


The dentist will provide post-sedative instructions, and you need someone to accompany you home as you may still feel the effects of sedation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Embrace a Stress-Free Dental Experience at Smiles for Life

By alleviating anxiety, enhancing comfort, and increasing cooperation, sedation dentistry empowers patients to prioritize their oral health without the hindrance of fear. Whether it’s a routine check-up or a complex procedure, sedation dentistry offers a pathway to a more relaxed and enjoyable dental experience. Embrace this transformative approach and say goodbye to apprehension by scheduling an appointment today at our Auburn, IN dental office. Your journey to a healthier, happier smile begins here. 

Smiles for Life

1210 East 7th Street
Auburn, IN 46706

Office Hours

8am – 1pm | 2pm – 5pm
8am – 1pm | 2pm – 5pm
8am – 1pm | 2pm – 5pm
8am – 1pm | 2pm – 5pm