You sleep while your dentist fixes your teeth

What is sedation “sleep” dentistry?

The goal of sedation dentistry is to ease your fear and anxiety

Sedation or sleep dentistry, is a way to reduce your dental fear and anxiety. Sedation dentistry uses medicine to put you into a semi-conscious or unconscious state. Once sedated, your dentist can perform extensive dental work while you are sleeping. You will feel little to no pain and won’t remember much of anything afterward. Sedation dentistry is helpful for complex dental work and those involving multiple difficult procedures. There are several different sedation techniques, including Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. The goal of all sedation techniques is to help you concur your fear of the dentist!

Should I consider going to sleep for my dental treatment?

Sedation dentistry is recommended for those with extreme dental-phobia, wisdom tooth extractions, and other complex dental treatments

While sedation dentistry is great, it’s not for everyone. In fact, the vast majority of patients do fine without any sort of sedation. However, there are patients who are great candidates for sleep dentistry and would probably not get their treatment were it not for sedation. It all depends on how much treatment you require and how afraid of the dentist you are. Here are examples of cases which are good candidates for sedation dentistry:

Extreme dental-phobia

If you’re so hesitant of going to the dentist that you simply refuse to see one, then sleep dentistry is probably your one and only option. Schedule a consultation with a dentist who offers sedation to come up with a plan to concur your fear of the dentist by using sedation techniques.

Wisdom tooth extraction

Sedation dentistry is very helpful for tooth extraction surgeries, especially for complex wisdom tooth removal. We highly recommend that you consider sedation dentistry if you need to remove multiple impacted wisdom teeth. Of course, simple wisdom teeth, non-impacted ones, and do not require sedation.

Extensive dental work

Sleep dentistry can also be very helpful if you’re planning on having extensive dental work performed. Examples include full mouth rehabilitation, placing multiple dental implants or tooth extraction, etc. With sedation or sleep dentistry, you can complete the majority of your treatment during one long sedation session. Of course, multiple followup visits may be required, but these appointments are all easy and painless for the most part. The difficult stuff, like tooth extraction, dental implants, and gum work, will all be performed under one sedation appointment.

These are only our recommendations for what are ideal sedation cases. Ultimately, it’s your choice to get sedated or not. If you have the time and resources, you can get sedated to fill your cavities or do your deep cleaning. Talk to your dentist to see what is the best route to take to fix your mouth.

What are the different sedation dentistry options?

Sedation dentistry includes Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia

There are 4 types of sedation techniques, which are:

  1. Nitrous Oxide
  2. Oral conscious sedation
  3. IV sedation
  4. General anesthesia

Nitrous oxide helps take the edge off to calm your nerves. This is a good option for patients with low levels of anxiety. Oral conscious sedation is extremely effective in relieving anxiety and dental-phobia and it has minimal risks. IV sedation is a bit more effective as it knocks you out completely. General anesthesia requires an anesthesiologist to be present and is the highest level of sedation. We recommend Nitrous Oxide for patients with low levels of anxiety and oral or IV sedation for all other cases. Regardless of the sedation technique you choose, the goal is to complete all of your major dental treatment during one sedation session. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using oral or IV sedation to reduce your anxiety levels:

Moderate-to-deep sedation

With oral or IV conscious sedation, you get placed into a deep state of sleep. Oral and IV sedation are very effective at helping patients relax and fall asleep during their dental treatment.

Ease of administering

Oral conscious sedation requires minimal workup, no anesthesiologist and just a few little pills!

Oral and IV sedation are a simple outpatient procedure that is performed routinely in dental offices. There’s no need for an extensive workup, anesthesiologist, or extensive allergy tests. Oral conscious sedation requires nothing more than taking some pills, arranging an escort to your appointment, and simply showing up to our dental office. IV sedation is very similar except that the medications are deliver intravenously.


Going under general anesthesia can be risky as you may not come out. In contrast, oral and IV sedation are extremely safe. This is because your breathing is not suppressed and you breathe on your own throughout the entire procedure.

What is a typical oral or IV sedation appointment like?

We always recommend that you schedule your sedation session early in the morning or early afternoon. Most sedation sessions last anywhere from 2 to 4+ hours. You won’t be able to function for the next several hours after sedation due to the effects of medication. Plan on taking the whole day off and get some rest. SLEEP WITH 2 or 3 PILLOWS UNDER YOUR HEAD after your treatment. Here is a preview of what a typical sleep dentistry appointment looks like:

Consultation and workup

All sedation appointments start off with an extensive consult. Your dentist will review your treatment and go over the sedation protocol. X-rays, study models, CT scans, consent forms, and payment arrangements will all be taken care of during this appointment. You can’t engage in any meaningful conversation on the day of surgery, so all the workup needs to be done in advance. Your dentist may prescribe you medications that you need to take before the surgery. Be sure to take your pills with a light meal, like toast and apple juice, as instructed by your doctor.

Arriving to your sedation appointment

It’s important that you find reliable transportation for the day of your surgery. Choose a family member or friend who will be responsible for bringing you back and forth to your sedation appointment. Uber, Lyft and Yellowcab are NOT acceptable moods of transportation for sedation treatment. Your companion is responsible for caring for you for the remainder of the day. You won’t be allowed to walk or drive a car as soon as you take your medications.


Once you arrive to your sedation appointment, your dentist will promptly seat you in a treatment chair. You will get hooked up to a pulse oximeter machine which will constantly monitor your vitals. From this point on, you get to relax while your dentist starts fixing your mouth. Most sedation appointments take several hours, but you will be asleep and unaware of the time. Once your treatment is complete, your dentist will contact your companion to pick you up. You are now all done and are set to go home after a successful sedation appointment.

Go home and fall sleep

Most patients fall asleep as soon as they reach their home. You won’t recall much of anything about your treatment. Plan on getting plenty of rest and relaxation during this time. Use two or three pillows to sleep with your head elevated to breath more comfortably. The effects of sedation wear off within a few hours and you’ll be back to normal by the next day. You can resume normal activities 24 hours after your sedation appointment.

Sedation and sleep dentistry in San Clemente, Orange County

We offer complimentary sedation for larger treatment cases

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation or sleep dentistry, give us a call today. Schedule your sedation consult by calling (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online. During your consult, Dr. Jazayeri will review your treatment plan and help you decide if sedation is right for you. The best part is, our sedation services are complimentary for larger treatment cases. Stop delaying essential dental work! Give us a call today or come into our San Clemente dental office to see how we can help you overcome your fear of the dentist with sleep dentistry.

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