Sedation Dentistry

While many people do not look forward to their annual dental checkup, there are others who have developed an actual fear of visiting the dentist, also known as dental anxiety or dental phobia. When your fear comes from a traumatic or painful experience, you may try to avoid going to the dentist altogether. However, not visiting the dentist can significantly affect your oral health and cause further problems down the line. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics, our sedation dentistry (or sleep dentistry) can help you feel safe and more at ease during your visit.

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Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Provides a Pain-Free Experience

Provides a Pain-Free
Experience

Many people who are afraid of visiting the dentist believe it will be excruciatingly painful. Sedation dentistry can ease a patient's worry about feeling uncomfortable and allows them to have a pain-free cleaning or treatment.

Calms Anxiety and Fear

Calms Anxiety
and Fear

Patients who suffer from anxiety about visiting the dentist, whether due to an unpleasant dental experience in the past or a stress disorder, can benefit from sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can provide them with a safe and comfortable dental experience to get them the oral care they need without the fear or anxiety.

Improved Oral Health and Confidence

Improved Oral Health
and Confidence

Most patients who receive sedation dentistry would otherwise not visit their dentist and would suffer the negative health and aesthetic consequences. With sedation dentistry, dental visits become pleasant, and patients get the oral care they need to help maintain their health and give them confidence in their smile.

Sedation Dentistry Options

  • Oral Sedation
    • Administered in oral pill form before your procedure
    • Makes you feel like you are in a twilight/sleepy state
    • Provides relaxation and comfort
    • Sedation will take a few hours to wear off completely
    • Best for those with mild dental anxiety or those who require extensive dental treatment
  • Inhaled Sedation
    • Comes in the form of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
    • Administered through a nasal hood before your procedure
    • Makes you feel slightly loopy/giddy
    • Raises your pain tolerance and also makes time pass more quickly
    • Wears off immediately after oxygen is administered
    • Best for those with moderate to severe dental anxiety
  • IV (intravenous) Sedation
    • Medication is administered via IV line
    • You will feel no pain but will be able to breathe on your own (unlike general anesthesia)
    • You will experience less grogginess and nausea after your procedure
    • Fewer risks involved than with general anesthesia
    • Also known as “twilight sleep” or conscious sedation

Sedation Dentistry Concerns

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Choosing the Right Treatment

Deciding on the right sedation method relies on a number of factors, including your level of dental anxiety. Dr. Kohani will discuss your previous dental experiences with you during your consultation to determine the best solution for your needs.

Recovery

Because sedation alters your sense of alertness, we recommend enlisting a friend or family member to drive you home from the dentist’s office once your procedure is complete.

Cost

The cost of sedation dentistry can vary depending on your needs. Dr. Kohani will provide you with a detailed price quote during your consultation.

Results

Sedation dentistry will not only provide you with the oral care you need, but it can also help you effectively reduce your fear of the dentist.

Before & After Photos

Before and after photos are a great way for you, the patient, to get a realistic view of the results we provide at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics.

Testimonials

Sedation Dentistry Faqs

  • Am I a candidate for sedation dentistry?

    Sedation dentistry is recommended for any individual with dental phobia or anxiety that may prevent them from going to the dentist. It is important to mention your dental fears immediately so that we can work toward making you as comfortable as possible from the beginning of your appointment until the very end. Most patients are candidates for sedation; however, there are rare circumstances where severe health issues prevent the use of sedation.

  • What will it feel like being under sedation?

    It is important to note that sedation is not general anesthesia; it allows you to remain awake but unaware of the procedure taking place.

  • Is sedation dentistry safe for children?

    Sedation dentistry is safe for children. They are usually good candidates for this treatment, especially if they have high levels of anxiety and fear of the dentist, require extensive dental services, or have difficulty sitting still.

  • Are there any risks or side effects involved with sedation dentistry?

    Complications are unlikely to develop after a sedation dentistry procedure. However, temporary side effects may occur. These include dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. If you are experiencing vomiting, pain, excessive bleeding, or a fever, contact the office as soon as possible.

  • What sedation method is best for me?

    To find the best sedation dentistry option for your oral care, it is important to set up a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your condition to determine if sedation will be necessary or beneficial. The examination for the best sedation method will include an evaluation of your medical history, physiological differences, and your overall level of comfort with dentistry. The three primary sedation methods provided by dentists include oral sedation, inhaled sedation, and intravenous sedation.

  • Is sedation dentistry common?

    According to experts, nearly 40 to 75 percent of the population suffers from anxiety surrounding going to the dentist. A common reason for anxiety and fear of the dentist is caused by the need to undergo extensive treatments. Other causes for the common occurrence of sedation dentistry are a low tolerance for pain, inability to sit still during treatment (sensitivity), or an overactive gag reflex.

  • Is sedation dentistry safe for adults?

    Sedation dentistry is safe for all due to the technological improvements that make sedation dentistry possible. Sedation dentistry has been a part of this industry for decades, allowing scientists and dentists plenty of time to master its application. Dentists must complete a medical evaluation to ensure that sedation will not compromise a patient’s well-being.

  • Can I drive home after minimal sedation?

    Dr Kohani and his team are very cautious with the health and safety of his patients; therefore, even with minimal sedation, we do not allow our patients to drive afterwards.

  • How can I prepare for IV sedation?

    You can prepare for your IV sedation to ensure your procedure and sedation process will go as planned. First, you are instructed to avoid eating or drinking eight hours before your appointment. Secondly, wear loose clothing to help the administration and monitoring of your sedation. Do not drink alcohol or take recreational drugs for at least seven days before your procedure.

    Sedation is not possible if you are pregnant. If you are a nursing mother, you will not be able to breastfeed for 12 hours after sedation.

  • What types of dental treatments can sedation dentistry be used for?

    Sedation dentistry is a specialty service that can be administered in nearly all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry, including periodontal treatment, root canal treatment, tooth replacement (implants), or a smile makeover.

  • Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?

    Everyone’s dental plans are different. You will need to discuss your benefit plan with your insurance provider prior to treatment to determine if (or to what extent) you are covered for sedation dentistry.