Like many patients, you may feel anxious at the very thought of dental treatment. If so, you may benefit from sedation dentistry at our Memphis practice. Dr. Timothy Hacker understands that dental anxiety is a very real problem, and he offers compassionate, gentle care. He will help you select the right sedation option for your needs. He will also take as much time as you need to answer all your questions and to help you feel comfortable before treatment. Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from our advanced sedation options.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dr. Hacker uses advanced tools, gentle techniques, and local anesthesia to provide treatment with minimal physical discomfort. Sedation dentistry is designed to reduce patient apprehension. If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may feel extremely nervous before any form of treatment – even a routine checkup. In some cases, you may have trouble sleeping the night before an exam. You may even experience an increased heart rate, nausea, and other physical symptoms. By providing gentle, effective, and safe sedation options, Dr. Hacker wants to reduce your anxiety and help you relax during treatment.

Types of Sedation

We offer several types of sedation. Each one is effective, and the right option for you will depend on your level of anxiety and the treatment you are going to receive. At your consultation, Dr. Hacker will explain the benefits of each method. Together you can determine the right type for your needs. Your options include:

  • Nitrous oxide: Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation. Dr. Hacker will administer this clear gas through a mask. It will take effect quickly, inducing feelings of deep relaxation and even mild euphoria. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly, and you can typically drive home after your treatment.
  • Oral conscious sedation: Oral conscious sedation offers mild to moderate levels of sedation. The dentist will prescribe an anti-anxiety drug to take at home before your appointment. The dosage will determine the degree of sedation. A smaller dose may simply take the edge off of your nerves. A larger dose can induce a “twilight sleep.” Even though you will be awake and able to answer Dr. Hacker’s questions during treatment, you will remember very little when the medication wears off.
  • Intravenous (IV) sedation: Finally, Dr. Hacker can also administer medication through an IV. As with oral conscious sedation, the degree of sedation can vary. However, the drugs typically take effect more quickly, and Dr. Hacker can closely monitor the amount you receive during your procedure. If you choose oral conscious or IV sedation, you should arrange for a ride home after your treatment.

Dr. Hacker is also extremely gentle when administering injections, and he has a special anesthesia that makes them virtually pain-free.

Benefits of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation has proven immensely helpful in easing patient anxiety. If you suffer from this condition, you may have put off dental treatment for years. As a result, you may now be at risk for decay, or you may require extensive restorative treatment. Sedation dentistry allows you to receive the treatment you need without worry or stress. Thanks to our gentle and personalized care, you can restore your oral health and enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile.

Learn More During a Consultation

If anxiety has kept you from receiving the treatment you need, sedation dentistry may be the solution. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Hacker and find out more about our sedation options.

Oral Sedation

Some patients need only a mild sedative they can take orally to take their anxiety away. This, combined with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) can make a very potent strategy to help you get through the stressful time.

At the office of Timothy J. Hacker, DDS, your comfort and satisfaction are our main concerns. We offer sedation options to relax patients who have anxiety about their treatment or those who are undergoing complex procedures. Oral conscious sedation is a pill-form sedation option that you will take before your treatment begins. Dr. Hacker will adjust your dosage depending on the level of sedation you require. This is a safe, common sedation option to consider for your next dental visit. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about oral conscious sedation at our Memphis, TN, office.

Why Choose Oral Conscious Sedation?

There are many reasons that our patients choose to receive oral conscious sedation. Some patients experience mild anxiety at the thought of visiting the dentist, while others have more severe anxiety or dental phobia (an extreme fear of visiting the dentist). Even patients who are comfortable during their dental visits can receive oral conscious sedation if they are undergoing lengthy or complex treatments and would prefer an extra level of comfort during their procedures.

Dr. Hacker can control the level of relaxation you will achieve from your oral medication by adjusting your dosage. If you only have mild anxiety, a smaller dosage can simply calm your nerves. If you are very nervous about your treatment or are undergoing a longer procedure, a larger dosage will induce a twilight sleep. This means you will remain awake and able to respond to direction, but feel completely relaxed.

Patients looking for high-quality dental care that is incredibly comfortable can turn to Dr. Timothy Hacker. The doctor is proud to offer a variety of services, including dental implants and cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile. Boost your smile and confidence with our services – contact us today!

Preparing for Your Appointment

Dr. Hacker will provide you with a prescription for your sedation medication before your dental appointment. He will instruct you when to take your pill, generally one to two hours before your appointment. You will need to have a friend or loved one drive you to and from your appointment, since you will feel drowsy and be slightly disoriented before and after your treatment. Once you arrive at our office, Dr. Hacker will monitor your vital signs and evaluate how you are feeling before treatment begins. Although you will remain awake during your treatment, oral conscious sedation has an amnesic effect, meaning you will remember little of your actual treatment. You will need to return directly home to rest following your treatment as your sedation wears off.

Treatment Benefits

When compared to other types of sedation, oral conscious sedation is very easy to take. With a simple pill, you can feel fully relaxed throughout your visit. With the aid of oral conscious sedation, Dr. Hacker is often able to perform a complex procedure more quickly or complete several treatments in a single appointment. In this way, sedation allows patients who struggle with extreme dental anxiety to attend much-needed dental appointments and receive essential oral healthcare. Combined with local anesthesia, which numbs the treatment area, oral conscious sedation can prepare you for virtually any type of treatment.

IV Sedation

Dr. Timothy J. Hacker offers many sedation options, including IV sedation, to patients at his Memphis, TN, dental practice. Patients who feel anxious about undergoing dental procedures can benefit from the deep relaxation this treatment provides. During your visit to our practice, we encourage you to be frank with Dr. Hacker about any discomfort you experience in the dentist’s chair. IV sedation not only benefits anxious patients, but also patients who require a lengthy procedure, or have a health condition that makes it difficult to sit for long periods. Many patients with a strong gag reflex or extreme sensitivity to dental treatment can also benefit from IV sedation. Contact our practice today to learn more about how IV sedation can help make your next dental treatment a completely relaxed, stress-free experience.

How IV Sedation is Administered

Dr. Hacker will discuss your concerns and review your medical history to determine if IV sedation is right for you. Before administering IV sedation, we will check your blood pressure, and continue to monitor it throughout your treatment. Administering IV sedation begins with placing an extremely thin needle into a vein near the surface of your arm or the back of your hand. The needle is quickly replaced with a thin plastic tube that delivers the sedative throughout the procedure.

The Benefits of IV Sedation

Under IV sedation, you will achieve a state of near-sleep in which you remain able to answer questions and respond to commands, but you will not likely remember treatment once the effects of the sedative subside.The medication creates the sense of time passing quickly, which makes lengthier or more extensive procedures, such as the placement of dental implants, much more tolerable for many patients. The amount of sedative administered during treatment can be quickly adjusted to keep you safe and comfortable throughout treatment.


We will carefully monitor the amount of medication you receive so that it will begin wearing off shortly after your procedure is complete. Once your procedure is finished, you may still feel slightly groggy, so you must have a friend or loved one drive you home following treatment. Patients are advised to avoid any strenuous or hazardous activities for the rest of the day, and they should not drive. You can gradually begin eating after treatment, but you should start with lighter foods in order to prevent nausea. Alcohol should be avoided for the rest of the day. If you are taking any medications, we recommend telling your doctor you plan to undergo IV sedation so that he or she can provide any special instructions necessary to maintain your safety.