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Sedation Dentistry

The vast majority of dentist visits are uneventful and comprised of little more than filling out forms and relaxing in the chair for a cleaning or checkup. Unfortunately, a large number of people have a fear of the dentist. According to surveys, dental anxiety affects anywhere from 13% to 24% of people, some of whom are so afraid of visiting the dentist that they avoid it completely until it's absolutely necessary.

If you are uneasy at the thought of even a dental cleaning, a Bell CA sedation dentist can help you get the care you need without the anxiety.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a specialized form of dentistry that uses medication to help you relax during your procedure. While it's sometimes called "sleep dentistry," this isn't completely accurate because you usually remain awake. There are several levels of sedation that can be used depending on your comfort level, how invasive or extensive the procedure will be, and other factors.


  • Minimal sedation means you remain awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate or conscious sedation places you in a state of semi-consciousness. You may slur when speaking and you will likely not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation places you on the edge of consciousness but you can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia, which leaves you completely unconscious during the procedure.

The most well-known form of minimal sedation is nitrous oxide or "laughing gas," which you breathe with oxygen before the procedure. Your Huntington Park sedation dentist will carefully control the amount of sedation you receive because the gas does wear off quickly. With this option, you will be able to drive home yourself afterward.

Oral sedation can also be used with a level of sedation that is minimal to moderate. Halcion is commonly used before a dental procedure to make you feel drowsy but awake. With a moderate dose, you may be drowsy enough to fall asleep during your dental procedure, but you can be awakened with a gentle shake.

Other options include IV sedation and general anesthesia.

With all types of sedation, your dentist will still use a local anesthetic or numbing medication to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel during the procedure.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

"Sleep dentistry" can be a good option for many people. While it's very popular with people who have a fear of the dentist, it is also used to make invasive procedures like dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, and oral surgeries comfortable and pain-free. Sedation dentistry is also recommended for anyone who:

  • Has a strong gag reflex
  • Has sensitive teeth
  • Can't sit still for an hour or longer
  • Has a low tolerance for pain
  • Requires a large amount of dental work

Sedation dentistry can be used for adults and children. With children, a Bell CA sedation dentist typically uses nitrous oxide to help the child relax during their visit, overcome a fear of the dentist, and cooperate with sitting still long enough to complete a procedure.

Requesting Sedation Dentistry

Most dentists in Huntington Park can administer mild forms of sedation like nitrous oxide or pills, but not all dentists can offer moderate sedation and general anesthesia. If you are nervous about seeing a dentist and interested in sedation dentistry, it's a good idea to find out what your dentist can provide. At Gage Dental Care, we believe that sedation is an important tool that can help patients who have put off a visit to the dentist out of fear. We offer light sedation as well as IV sedation to ensure your next dental appointment is relaxing and calm.

Contact Gage Dental Care today to schedule your appointment with a Bell CA sedation dentist to get the oral care you need in a safe, comfortable setting.