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Sleep Dentistry

It is crucially important to our dental team that all of our patients receive only the best in personal service. We recognize that not all individuals enjoy receiving dental treatment and to ensure the comfort of our patients, Scripps Center for Dental Care is pleased to offer sedation dentistry. Depending on your needs and desired level of sedation, we provide several options for patients to relax in comfort while their treatment is completed in a very short amount of time. With sedation dentistry, patients in our office can undergo a number of procedures at once utilizing multiple specialists, including a full smile makeover, in less time and with less discomfort than was ever before possible. Our practice offers a full range of sedation dentistry options, including nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia sleep dentistry.

Perhaps the greatest benefit associated with sedation dentistry is that it allows even those with severe dental phobias to undergo the treatment they need without anxiety or discomfort. Dental sedation gives patients the opportunity to drift pleasantly through their appointment, after which they will remember little to nothing of the work that was done. To learn about the different sedation options, please read below and contact us with any questions.

I was really nervous about going to the dentist for the first time in 10 years. But everybody was super nice to me from the moment I walked in. Kathy & Dr. Nick are the best. I’m glad I went.

Kirsten G

June 14, 2014


Nitrous Oxide

Considered one of the safest methods of dental sedation, nitrous oxide gas offers a number of benefits for patients of all ages who experience dental anxiety. Also known as “laughing gas,” this technique uses a blend of nitrous and oxygen, which is administered through a mask that’s worn over the mouth. When you inhale the gas, you should feel a sensation of calm, and you may even feel a bit giggly—effects which should subside quickly after the mask is removed. Nitrous oxide is designed to enhance relaxation during treatment while you remain conscious and in control throughout the procedure. Additionally, you can drive shortly after having nitrous oxide, so there is no need to have a friend or family member take you to and from our office.

Oral Conscious Sedation

For our patients who wish to remain conscious during treatment, Scripps Center for Dental Care is proud to offer a safe and reliable technique for making your dental visits completely comfortable and relaxing without putting you to sleep. Thanks to special training and certification through post graduate hospital residencies and DOCS (Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation), we can offer an alternative to IV sedation and general anesthesia that involves the use of mild oral sedatives and is known as oral conscious sedation. Use of this technique is great for light sedation and often times involves taking medicine the night before the appointment and also medicine at the start of the appoint the following morning.

How Oral Conscious Sedation Works

Oral Conscious Sedation often times involves taking medicine the night before the appointment and also medicine at the start of the appointment the following morning. The medication used will be specific to the individual receiving treatment and will also be based on the treatment needed and length of treatment. When the medicine takes affect, the patient will ease into an anxiety-free state. Our patients who undergo oral conscious sedation dentistry remain aware of their surroundings and yet feel calm and relaxed throughout their time in the treatment chair.

Many of our patients find that oral conscious sedation dentistry allows them to undergo dental treatments and procedures they would have never before been able to tolerate. Oral conscious sedation dentistry is an excellent option for individuals whose dental anxiety may only be exacerbated by the use of numbing injections or intravenous sedation. If you are interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, contact our dental team today.

Intravenous Dentistry

Intravenous sedation (IVS) allows patients to undergo one or more procedures while they remain conscious, yet free of any anxiety, fear, or discomfort. This technique is commonly referred to as ‘twilight’ and often times our patients do not remember the appointment. We achieve this effect by using intravenous medication to calm our patients down to the point of going in and out of sleep for the duration of the treatment. At Scripps Center for Dental Care, we use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to ensure that our patients are always safe and comfortable.

Intravenous Sedation Dentistry Applications and Benefits

For our patients, a typical IVS dentistry visit may include deep cleanings, general restorative care, and multi-specialty treatments such as gum surgery, root canal therapy, and oral and maxillofacial surgery (including the placement of dental implants). We select anesthesia techniques based on each individual’s needs and desires.

General Anesthesia Sleep Dentistry

Patients who experience severe dental phobia or who have difficulty understanding and following instructions (such as individuals with special needs) may benefit from the use of general anesthesia (GA). Known as “sleep dentistry,” this approach places the person in a controlled unconscious state for the duration of the treatment. Our state-of-the-art practice has the equipment and the skilled dental and medical professionals necessary to provide this advanced option. General anesthesia will be provided in a hospital setting where you can be monitored by our oral surgeon or anesthesiologist throughout the procedure. Once complete, you should have no memory of the dental experience and will need a friend or family member to drive you home afterwards. As with all of our sedation techniques, a consultation will be necessary prior to your dental appointment to determine the ideal approach based on your individual needs, goals, and medical history.With general anesthesia, the patient is unable to move or feel pain. This is the same sedation technique used during tonsil removal and many other surgical procedures. Our dentist will provide you with some instructions that will need to be followed prior to the appointment, including not eating or drinking after midnight the day the anesthesia will be dispensed. On the day of the treatment, you will be placed in a deep sleep using medication that is administered intravenously by our experienced dental professionals. Once the procedure is complete, you will undergo a short period of observation before being allowed to return home the same day.

Learn More about Sedation Dentistry

If you or a member of your family suffers from severe dental anxiety, or if you would simply prefer to be as relaxed as possible during your treatment, please contact Scripps Center for Dental Care to learn more about sedation dentistry. Our La Jolla office proudly serves communities throughout San Diego.

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