Is Dental Sedation an Option for Me?

Dental assistant smiling at camera

We realize that some of our patients genuinely fear a visit to the dentist. Many of these fears go back to isolated bad experiences, but regardless of the cause, these reservations may keep a patient from getting necessary dental checkups or treatments.

Our staff strive to help all of our patients to have positive experiences when visiting our office. One useful way to help patients deal with their dental anxieties is using dental sedation. This method helps ease concerns of patients and generally allows for a smooth visit to our dentist. Dental sedation is safe, and our dentist always uses the minimal amount necessary to help patients manage anxiety.

There are two types of sedation commonly used in dentistry. These are inhaled sedation and conscious sedation.

This kind of sedation is the mildest and easiest to control of all types. It involves a mixture of nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) and oxygen. Normally the mix is 70 percent nitrous oxide to 30 percent oxygen.

To administer the gas mixture, a patient wears a nasal mask, and our dentist controls how much gas goes to the patient. This sedation is precise and has no extended after effects.

The second form of sedation is conscious sedation. During this type of sedation, you are awake and very relaxed. Often our patients tell us they have no memory of the procedure and some report dozing off during their procedure. For this kind of sedation, our dentist generally prescribes an anti-anxiety medicine, normally in tablet form. A common type is usually Benzodiazepine or a derivative of the drug. You need a prescription for this medication, and you should not drive while taking it.

If you fear a visit to the dentist, mention your concerns to our staff before your appointment. Our dentist can explain sedation options to you and ease the anxiety you feel when visiting our office. The option of sedation helps many patients get the dental care they need calmly and comfortably.


Nitrous Oxide and Dentistry

Dental assistant smiling at camera

One option in dentistry that many patients do not consider is sedation. Various types of dental sedation allow you to remain calm during your appointment, whether it is for a basic check-up or lengthy procedure. Many believe that this is only available for a small margin of patients, but in fact, it may be an option for you.

The most commonly used dental sedation type is Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas. This gas is colorless, has a sort of sweet odor, and takes effect right away. It is a mild anesthetic that leaves patients awake, but very relaxed and drowsy. A mix of Nitrous Oxide and oxygen is provided through a mask, allowing the patient to directly inhale the substance.

Many patients can benefit from this service from our Nitrous Oxide dentist. It is useful for patients who may have trouble sitting in the dentist’s chair for the whole appointment, or must undergo a particularly long treatment or procedure. Patients who experience dental anxiety or phobia will likely benefit from the feeling of calm and relaxation that Nitrous Oxide provides. Furthermore, if you have a sensitive gag reflex, sensitive teeth, have difficulty getting numb, or suffer from chronic pain in nearby areas, this may be a good option for you. Talk to our Los Angeles dentist about this possibility ahead of your next appointment.

Is Dental Sedation the Right Option for Me?


Not everyone feels completely calm and comfortable in the dental chair, but with sedation dentistry, relaxation is a possibility. Our dentist in Huntington Beach offers sedatives that can give you a pleasant, painless dental experience without any of the discomfort you may have come to expect from a trip to the dentist.

You may be a candidate for sedation dentistry if you have:

• Dental phobia
• A history of unpleasant dental experiences
• Needle phobia
• Sensitive gag reflex
• Extremely sensitive teeth
• Difficulty getting numb
• A history of dental neglect
• Anxiety
• Certain physical problems that affect your ability to sit for long periods
• Scheduling issues that require you to have several procedures completed in a single appointment

Several types of sedation are available, including inhaled and oral sedation. Inhaled sedation is administered through a mask that is placed over the nose. It consists of nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen, and the effects are felt almost immediately. Oral sedation is administered through anti-anxiety medications. Many people can benefit from sedation dentistry, especially if they struggle with anxiety, dental phobia, or other issues that have prevented them from seeking dental care in the past. Call our expert in dental sedation in Huntington Beach to learn more about your sedation options.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Do?

It is not uncommon for patients to become anxiety-ridden at the idea of scheduling a dentist’s appointment, or even after they’ve arrived at the office. Some fear the possibility of pain or discomfort they expect to come from their cleaning or procedure. For these patients, our dentists in Los Angeles offer several types of dental sedation, one of which is achieved with Nitrous Oxide.

Minimal sedation requires you to breathe in a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen. It will leave you relaxed, but still awake. This means that you will be able to communicate with the dentist if need be, and they will be able to ask you questions about your teeth or how you are doing. The most important feature is that you will likely not be able to feel any pain. Instead, you will likely feel a little loopy, which is why Nitrous Oxide is often referred to as “laughing gas”. It is the only form of sedation that wears off quickly enough that the patient may be able to drive themselves home or return to work.

Dental sedation is a great option for patients who:

• Have a slight dental phobia
• Have very sensitive teeth or a low pain threshold
• Have a strong gag reflex
• Are younger and may not be able to stay still in the dentist’s chair
• Require a large amount of dental work to be done in one sitting

Talk to our expert in Nitrous Oxide in Los Angeles to see if you can utilize dental sedation during your next appointment.

Who Needs Dental Sedation


Dental sedation is the use of anti-anxiety medication to calm and relax you before and during dental treatment. It can be used for routine dental care or more extensive procedures, such as root canal treatments or dental extractions. Sedation can be especially helpful for complex or lengthy processes like full-mouth reconstructions.

Our Huntington Beach dentist may recommend dental sedation if you:

  • Have dental anxiety that makes it difficult for you to seek dental care
  • Have dental phobia
  • Delay or avoid dental care entirely
  • Need extensive dental care
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex or sensitive teeth
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Struggle with neck, jaw, or back pain that interferes with your ability to sit through dental treatment
  • Have difficulty controlling movement
  • Have a history of traumatic dental experiences

During your initial consultation, we may ask about any medical conditions you have and medications you take to ensure your safety. We will determine the best sedative based on this and other information. Inhaled sedation and oral conscious sedation are the two most common and safest sedation options and are generally effective for most patients.

If you struggle with dental anxiety and have been avoiding dental care, sedation can help you comfortably and safely get the care you need. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our dental sedation dentist in Huntington Beach.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Sedation Dentistry

For some patients, going to the dentist for even the most routine of procedures fills them with intense levels of dread. It may even cause them to not seek treatment when it is medically necessary. Sedation dentistry was developed in order to provide a more comfortable setting for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia. As with all medical and dental procedures, there are benefits and disadvantages associated with sedation dentistry.

The main benefit of sedation dentistry is to ease the anxiety that dental procedures cause in some people. The fact of the matter is that an infected tooth can potentially be fatal if it is not treated within a reasonable time frame, as it can spread throughout the body. Sedation dentistry allows such a patient to be able to have the infected tooth treated without consciously being aware of it. Mild sedation to general anesthesia is available, and the level of sedation that is administered by our San Fernando Valley dentist usually correlates to the invasiveness of the procedure.

One of the disadvantages associated with sedation dentistry is that receiving sedation usually increases the cost of the procedure that is being done. For oral sedation, it can be hard to gauge the exact level of sedation administered. It is much easier using IV sedation, but some patients have a fear of needles. Our sedation dentist in San Fernando Valley also requires that pre-arranged transportation plans are made after your appointment, as driving yourself home afterwards is not advised after receiving sedation.