How Not to Fear Going to the Dentist 101: The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Are you afraid of the dentist? No need to shake in your shoes, because sedation dentistry might just change your life. We’re not being dramatic – it may really make that big of a difference. Picture this – you’re fast asleep, catching some serious Z’s, calm and comfortable as can be. You wake up refreshed and with a perfectly healthy smile. Does it sound too good to be true? Maybe, but sedation dentistry is the game changer you’ve been waiting for, and it works just like that.

The good news is that dentists are equipped with a solution to help put patients at ease. Sedation dentistry is designed to keep patients relaxed during dental work. Find out if sedation dentistry is right for you!

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.

The Basics of Sedation Dentistry

As the name suggests, sedation dentistry involves administering a sedative to help patients relax before a dental procedure. It’s often confused with general anesthesia, but the latter is the only option that renders patients completely unconscious; sedatives are designed to help patients relax without knocking them out completely. These include:

  • Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas”: this popular sedative is a gas that has relaxant properties. Plus, it has the added benefit wearing off quickly, so patients are usually able to drive themselves home after. That said, it is always recommended to get a lift or take public transit, just as an added precaution. Everyone reacts differently.
  • Oral Sedatives: diazepam, a popular oral sedative, is taken an hour before the procedure. When it takes effect, patients are still fully awake but much less anxious, even to the point of a little drowsiness until it wears off.
  • IV Sedatives: depending on the type of intravenous or IV sedative, patients can find themselves in varying levels of consciousness. Most popularly, IV sedatives are general anesthesia, which put patients in deep sleep throughout the course of the procedure. In some cases, a lighter type is used, which only makes patients feel sleepy, but also less receptive of their surroundings until it wears off.

Depending on your procedure and medical history, your dentist will decide what the best sedative option is for you. Things to consider include allergic reactions and comfort level, so try to be as open as possible with your dentist, as this will allow them to make the safest decision for your dental care.

How Sedation Dentistry Works

Sedatives are administered differently depending on the type and the dental procedure. For instance, dentists provide a prescription for oral sedatives, as these need to be taken prior to the procedure; once you feel a bit drowsy and visibly relaxed, then your dentist will know that it is safe to proceed.

On the other hand, nitrous oxide is supplied by your dentist at the clinic and you won’t need a prescription for it. As for IV sedation, you may need to fast or abstain from eating and drinking for several hours prior to the procedure. IV sedatives are often administered for extensive dental work, so make sure to pay attention to your dentist’s aftercare instructions, such as the safest way to get home and ease back into your daily routine.

Do I Need Sedation Dentistry?

If a patient is under the influence of powerful sedatives and anesthetics, she won’t be squirming around in the chair while the dentist is trying to work. This makes the procedure for the dentist as well as the patient.

The dentist will be able to work faster and more efficiently, because he doesn’t have to worry about your reaction to the procedure. This means he will be able to get you out of the chair and on the road to recovery that much quicker.

So if you have been putting off having some much-needed dental work because you’re a little nervous, you are likely a good candidate for sedation dentistry.

If you experience general anxiety disorder on top of phobia of dental work or have had a bad experience in the past, don’t hesitate to explore your options. Dentists are here to advocate for your dental care, so you can get the treatment you need without being held back by fear.

Don’t let your anxiety prevent you from getting the dental care you need.

Whether it’s putting you to sleep or giving you just enough laughing gas to put you at ease, Your Oxnard dentists are here to ensure that you feel comfortable in the dental chair. Call Anacapa Dental Art Institute at (805) 988-3320 or contact us here to book an appointment with one of our dentists.

Schedule Your Own Private Consultation with Dr. J

Anacapa Dental Art Institute is proud of their dedicated service to Ventura County. Lead by world-renowned top cosmetic prosthodontist Dr. Jivraj and his expert staff, Anacapa has the expertise and facility to handle whatever your cosmetic dental situation may be. Whether it’s a tooth whitening or a full mouth reconstruction, expect nothing but some of the best dental care Ventura County has available.

Call today for a private consultation. Renew your smile, renew your life.


We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jivraj contact our Oxnard, CA, dental office today by calling 805-988-3320. Our office at 2821 N Ventura Road, Building H, Oxnard, 93036 welcomes patients in and around Oxnard, CA, including Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Ventura, and the surrounding Southern California communities.

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