Shank Center for Dentistry
A Great Dentist

The Evolution of Sedation Dentistry: A Quick History

Marble pillars stand at the front of a building | Sedation Dentist Perry Township

As your sedation dentist in Indianapolis, Dr. Kyle Shank is committed to ensuring a comfortable experience for patients – both physically and emotionally. Since many of our patients face dental anxiety and have difficulty getting numb, sedation dentistry has become an invaluable service in our practice.

A Brief History of Sedation Dentistry

While dental anxiety is a serious matter, it is entertaining to look back over the years at what passed as sedation in the past.

1000 BC – Dentists in India administered wine to patients to decrease their awareness. Though it might have made the patient more comfortable, it was probably not the healthiest option since wine can increase bleeding.

1540  – Ether made its way onto the scene in Germany as a form of sedation for medical and dental procedures.

1844 – Nitrous oxide began being used to sedate patients during medical and dental procedures by Dr. Horace Wells. 

1877 – The first nurse anesthetist, Sister Mary Bernard, helped to ease the pain with local anesthetic in the United States.

1884 – Cocaine became a popular anesthetic due to its numbing properties.

1904 – Procaine, also known as Novocaine, became a safer and more reliable way to anesthetize teeth.

1956 – Halothane became popular in general sedation and is still used today.

2018 – Sedation in dentistry now includes nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, IV sedation, and general anesthetic, giving patients many more options than in the past.

How Sedation Dentistry Works in Our Indianapolis Dental Office

Because safety is our number one concern, we begin with a full medical history to determine which type of sedation and medication will work best for you with the least amount of risk.

Types of sedation dentistry we offer:

Nitrous oxide sedation – our mildest sedation that wears off quickly
Oral sedation – our stronger sedation option (requires a friend or family member to drive you)

Give us a call to book a consultation for sedation dentistry so that you can comfortably have the dental care you need to stay healthy.