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

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.


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.


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


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.


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 that you mention your fears of the dentist immediately so that we can work toward making you as comfortable as possible from the beginning of your appointment until the very end.

  • What will it feel like being under sedation?

    It is important to note that sedation is not 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 a hard time 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.