Sedated patient

Sedation Dentistry

If going to the dentist causes you stress or anxiety, you may avoid treatment altogether, which can cause serious oral health issues.

Dr. Byron J. Nordhus can help you feel comfortable during visits to our Wichita, KS, office by using sedation dentistry.

So what is sedation dentistry?

A Way to Relax at the Dentist's Office


Sedation dentistry is the process of using medication to help you stay calm during dental work. Our Wichita dental practice offers a wide range of safe and effective sedatives, including oral consciousness, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.

Is It Normal to Be Afraid of the Dentist?

50 percent to 80 percent of adults in the United States have dental anxiety. More than 20 percent of anxious patients avoid seeing the dentist regularly.
*According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene

If you suffer from dental phobia, you are not alone. Many patients put off checkups and necessary procedures due to severe anxiety. Our dentistry team understands that dental phobia is a serious and complicated issue and can provide the compassionate care you deserve.

Sedation Helps With a Variety of Concerns

Sedation dentistry is not just for treating fear and anxiety. It can also help calm and treat the following concerns that make getting dental treatment difficult for some patients:

Trouble Sitting Still

Many patients find it difficult to sit still, especially when undergoing lengthy treatments. Sedation can make you feel a little sleepy, reducing your impulse to move around and fidget. You may also feel like time is passing much quicker.

Sensitive Gag Reflex

An extremely sensitive gag reflex is uncomfortable and inconvenient during dental treatment. Trying to work around an overactive gag reflex can also lead to injury, especially when treatment involves dental tools. Sedation relaxes both the jaw and facial muscles to improve your physical comfort and keep you safer during procedures.

Low Pain Tolerance

If you struggle with low pain tolerance or highly sensitive gums and teeth, a regular dental exam might be painful. Sedatives reduce your sensory perception and can be used in conjunction with local anesthesia to avoid any pain during your treatment.

Difficulty With Local Anesthesia

In some cases, local anesthesia is ineffective or causes adverse side effects. If you have experienced complications in the past from anesthesia, please let Dr. Nordhus know so we can explore the alternative of pain relief with sedation.

Do You Think Sedation Can Help You? Find Out Today!

Those who struggle with dental care are in good hands at Nordhus Dentistry. Sedation can help you overcome a variety of obstacles that get in the way of good oral health and make dental visits much more enjoyable.  To learn more about the types of sedation and whether you qualify, contact our Wichita, KS, dental practice today. You can send us a message online or schedule an appointment by calling:

(316) 721-6730

Team at Nordhus Family Dentistry

"Nordhus helped calm all of my worries." See Why Our Patients Love Us


matt dingus

Wichita, KS


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I have a VERY real anxiety problem when it comes to dentistry, especially procedures, fillings, crowns, anything that involves a DRILL!! They understood my issues and my needs were met to be comfortable and pain free! 100% satisfied with my visit, as far as I’m concerned they have me as a patient for life

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Morgan Stanhope

Wichita, KS


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My husband started going to Nordhus Dentistry and had an amazing experience. I had extreme anxiety about going to the dentist, the staff at Nordhus helped calm all of my worries. I have never felt pressured into any procedure and all of the staff are wonderful!

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Listen to Dr. Nordhus Explain the Benefits

Putting off a visit to the dentist can lead to serious oral health complications. Don't let anxiety keep you from getting the dental care you need. At Nordhus Dentistry, we offer several sedation options to help patients in the greater West Wichita region feel more comfortable at the dentist's office.

Types of Dental Sedation

Learn more about the types of sedation dentistry we offer our patients in the greater West Wichita area.
Woman putting pill in her mouth

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is administered in the form of a pill before your dental treatment. These sedatives belong to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Depending on the dose, they can have a mild to moderate sedative effect. After consulting with you, Dr. Nordhus will select the appropriate medication and dosage. Then you simply take a pill at a predetermined time before your procedure. You will remain awake during your appointment but feel very relaxed and potentially a little sleepy. With many years of testing and use, benzodiazepines have been deemed safe and effective for most patients with minimal risk of side effects. The effects last for a few hours, so you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, has been used by dentists for decades to induce a mild state of sedation. Laughing gas is a mixture of nitrous oxide and air, administered through a breathing mask that is placed over your nose. The gas takes effect very quickly, causing feelings of relaxation and euphoria. While you may feel physically lethargic, you will remain awake and able to respond to instructions. Once you stop inhaling the gas, the anesthetic effects wear off quickly. Nitrous oxide sedation can be used with most patients, from young to elderly. Sometimes oral sedation is combined with nitrous oxide sedation.

IV with person lying down in the background

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation induces the most powerful level of relaxation and is typically limited to serious cases. If you are a candidate for IV sedation, it will be administered by a licensed nurse anesthetist for your safety. A small needle is inserted into the top of your hand or your inner elbow to dispense the medication into your bloodstream. The effects kick in very quickly, causing you to feel deeply relaxed and comfortable. This type of sedation can work well for patients in need of extensive dental work and those with problems controlling a sensitive gag reflex. You will still be conscious under IV sedation; however, your memory of the procedure will likely be limited. The effects can linger for several hours, so you should plan to take the rest of the day off and have someone drive you home.

We Accept Insurance and Financing

We accept most insurance plans at our Wichita, KS, dental office. However, a standard dental insurance plan may not cover the cost of sedation dentistry despite its benefits. To help you get the care you need at a price you can afford, we accept no-interest and low-interest financing plans through CareCredit®

Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

While sedation dentistry works for a wide range of our patients in the greater West Wichita region, it is not suitable for everyone. Each type of sedative we offer at our Wichita practice works differently, so you will first attend a consultation with our dentist to find the right fit for your needs. Certain health conditions, your medical history, and the medications you take can determine which options you qualify for. We will also discuss the different levels of sedation to find a method and dosage that sufficiently treats your concerns. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nordhus today to find out which option is best for you. Call our Wichita, KS, office to set up an appointment:

(316) 721-6730

"Great office staff, great dental hygienist
and great dentist!"
5-Star Reviews From Dental Patients


Sandy Brockel

Wichita, KS


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After every appointment — I am a firm believer that this is definitely the best dentist I have ever had. Great office staff, great dental hygienist and great dentist!!

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leticia hernandez

Wichita, KS


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Extremely greatful to have found nordhus dentestry, everyone is so kind and effective, thank you

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FAQ About Sedation Dentistry From Our Wichita Patients

Can I drive myself home after a sedation dentistry appointment?

Patients who undergo oral conscious or IV sedation will need someone to drive them home after their appointment. The effects of these drugs can last for up to several hours after the procedure is complete. Patients who use nitrous oxide to relax can drive themselves to and from their appointment as the effects wear off about 15 minutes after removing the mask. 

How long do the effects of sedation dentistry last?

The duration of the effects will vary from person to person based on how fast your body metabolizes the drug and the type of sedation you choose. Nitrous oxide typically wears off quickly, and you should be able to resume your normal activities shortly after the procedure. With moderate oral conscious sedation, the effects often last for a while after the procedure, leaving you groggy. With deep IV sedation, the effects are the strongest, which means they last the longest. Be prepared to take the rest of the day off to recover fully.

How should patients prepare for sedation dentistry?

Dr. Nordhus will give you specific preparatory instructions before your visit to our Wichita office. Depending on the type of sedation method you require, you may need to fast before your procedure to avoid complications. Our doctor may also request that you take an oral sedation pill the night before and before your appointment if you struggle with getting a good night's sleep before a significant dental appointment. 

What does sedation dentistry feel like?

The effects of sedation dentistry will feel different for every person because of our body's unique response to the medicine. Patients who undergo nitrous oxide are aware of their surroundings and can communicate with the dentist but may feel a sense of euphoria, light-headedness, or a tingling sensation in their limbs. Patients who undergo oral conscious sedation may experience great calmness and a lack of anxiety. Reaction times and coordination may be impaired, and you may not remember the procedure. With deep IV sedation, you're still conscious but in your most relaxed state. IV sedation patients likely won't remember the procedure afterward. 

A "Wonderful Experience"  for Special Needs Patients & Others


Tammy Orr

Wichita, KS


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My daughter is special needs and we have had such a wonderful experience with sedation cleanings and X-rays. We feel at ease when we take her there and there is always a smile on everyone’s face. Thank you for making it easier on us!

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Jesse Tallent

Wichita, KS


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I absolutely feel great about this dentistry, great vibe, well versed and the skill is beyond anthing Ive experienced before. 5 stars!

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​Dr. Byron J. Nordhus

Nordhus Dentistry

Dr. Byron J. Nordhus strives to provide the highest level of comprehensive dental care at his Wichita, KS, practice, while treating his patients like family. He uses advanced materials, treatments, and technology to make dental procedures as effective and painless as possible. Affiliations include:

  • Academy of Laser Dentistry
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association 

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (316) 721-6730.

Message Our Staff

"Dr. Nordhus and the whole team are simply amazing. Humble, professional, and always a delight to work with. Highly recommend."

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