Sedation dentistry refers to the use of pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The pharmacological agents usually belong to a class of drugs called sedatives, which exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with conscious awareness.
Sedation can be given orally by taking a pill or they can be given parenterally by administering an IV. IV sedation provides the patient a feeling of "being asleep" during treatment. People are commonly IV sedated for wisdom teeth extractions.