Sedation & General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is provided in our office by pediatric anesthesiologists from Children’s Dental Anesthesia Group and at the ValleyCare Day Surgery Center.

Click here to learn more about the Children’s Anesthesia Group, based out of Children’s Hospital of Oakland.

We recognize that some of our patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Our doctors and staff work hard to make sure our patients have a comfortable, positive experience, and that’s why we are pleased to offer sedation dentistry to anyone who needs a little extra comfort before undergoing treatment.

Feeling anxious about receiving dental care should never prevent you or your child from obtaining the beautiful, healthy smile everyone deserves.

Oral Sedation Dentistry that is safe and effective

There are different types of sedation dentistry, and we will work together with your family to decide on a personalized treatment plan that will provide the our patients need while ensuring comfort every step of the way.

How Sedation Dentistry Works

About an hour before the patient begins dental treatment, a small pill helps to relax. Due to the sedative nature of the pill, adult patients need someone to accompany them to an appointment because they will not be able to drive. When you arrive at our practice, our staff will be waiting and will escort the patient to a private room for treatment.

The doctor will gently place an IV and administer medication to help the person into a deeper state of relaxation. Once the treatment is complete, the patient wakes up with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile.

Using sedation dentistry, we may be able to complete many different procedures, including complex smile makeovers, during a single office visit.

Common Questions about Sedation Dentistry

We understand you may have many questions about sedation dentistry before treatment occurs. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry:

Will I feel anything during my treatment?

In most cases, patients do not feel anything. There is very little discomfort, and many patients wake up feeling relaxed and comfortable with almost no memory of the treatment.

Is sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious?

No. The patient remains conscious and responsive but in a deep state of relaxation.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Before starting treatment with IV sedation, the doctor help you decide if IV sedation is right for treatment.

How long will it take the sedation to wear off?

The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on the dose received, how long the treatment lasts, and how quickly the patient’s body can recover. Because sedation causes drowsiness, it is recommended that adult patients have a family member or friend drive them to and from the appointment. After your treatment, patients should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.

Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

Any patient, from child to adult, who experiences dental anxiety is a good candidate for sedation dentistry. If a patient has any of the following fears or concerns, ask us about sedation dentistry as an option for the next dental treatment:

  • Extreme dental anxiety, or fear of visiting the dentist
  • Fear of needles and/or shots
  • Past traumatic dental experience
  • Inability to handle the smells or noises at a dentist’s office
  • Overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb
  • Need for a more complex dental treatment
  • Self-consciousness about one’s teeth
  • Desire for a more comfortable dental treatment

If you feel that you or your child could benefit from sedation dentistry at the next appointment, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your family’s needs.

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients who have dental phobia or find it difficult to sit still.

We use a wide range of sedation methods, including nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), conscious sedation and general anesthesia. General anesthesia is provided in the office by pediatric anesthesiologists from Children’s Dental Anesthesia Group and the ValleyCare Day Surgery Center.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is critical to tell us about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, Dr. Solomon, Dr. Ko, Dr. Chao or Dr. Chang will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.

Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist during their visit.

After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. We will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.

back to top