What is sedation dentistry?


ome people experience deep anxiety when thinking about going to the dentist. This can keep them from getting the preventive care they need, much less the restorations that could be necessary. That’s a shame because our Beverly Hills practice offers sedation dentistry to relax and calm our patients. In fact, we even have an anesthesiologist on-site just for our IV sedation. Sedation dentistry with Dr. David S. Frey makes it easy to keep your smile looking great. Sedation dentistry simply allows patients to relax while undergoing restorative and cosmetic dental procedures with Dr. Frey. Sedation enables patients to overcome various levels of anxiety, all the way up to phobia about even visiting the dentist. Plus, sedation allows you to group various procedures into a single office visit, making it a better use of your time. And in the end, you have little or no recollection about your visit.

Dr. Frey discusses sedation dentistry
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Frequently Asked Questions.

If you want to learn even more, we invite you to reach out for a free smile consultation where we can answer all of your questions in depth.

I Still Have Questions

Can sedation dentistry allow me to handle more involved appointments?

Another great thing about sedation dentistry with Dr. Frey is that it allows you to handle longer, more involved appointments. Often more complex procedures, such as smile makeovers or root canals can involve more time for your appointment, or could often require multiple appointments. When a patient is sedated, however, Dr. Frey is able to perform more work in a single session.

Sore gums can be rejuvenated, crowns and dentures can be replaced, yellow or stained teeth can be whitened, and chipped teeth can be bonded or covered with veneers — all while you’re basically in twilight sleep. Afterwards, you won’t remember much, if anything, about your lengthy session. How great is that?

Can I drive after sedation dentistry?

With either oral or IV sedation, you should not drive afterwards (12 hours for oral sedation and 24 hours for IV sedation). So, plan on getting a ride to and from our offices.

How long does IV sedation last?

For some patients, IV sedation wears off almost immediately after the administration is stopped. For others, they can feel its effects for a few hours after their appointment is over. Patients shouldn’t drive or operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards.

What is IV sedation?

At Dr. Frey’s, we have an anesthesiologist who handles our IV sedation. This type of sedation is delivered intravenously and works instantly. An advantage to IV sedation is that we can adjust the levels continually, for instance when Dr. Frey may need you to respond to more instructions, we can lighten the level for a bit and then increase it again.

What are the risks of oral conscious sedation?

Oral sedation also has an amnestic effect. While technically a side effect, most patients see this as a benefit because they have no recollection of their dental visit. Oral medications can also cause dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and occasional nausea, but these all pass quickly.

How long does oral sedation last?

For most patients, the effects of oral sedation last from two to four hours after their appointment. You need a ride to and from your appointment, plus shouldn’t drive for an additional 12 hours.

What is oral sedation?

With oral sedation, a pill, usually similar to Valium, is given about 30 minutes to an hour before the start of your procedure. This will make you drowsy, but you’re still awake and you can still respond to certain directions from Dr. Frey. If you prefer moderate sedation, we can simply increase the dosage.

What's the difference between sedation and sleep dentistry?

This is a bit of a misnomer. Patients sometimes think they will be put “under,” as they are with general anesthesia. This is not the case. With both oral and IV sedation, the patient is always awake but sedated.

What types of sedation dentistry are offered at Perfect White Smile?

At Dr. Frey’s, we offer two forms of sedation, oral or IV sedation. Both methods deliver a similar sort of relaxation and a kind of twilight sleep, where you’re awake but totally relaxed. Both methods also tend to have an amnesia type of effect afterward, where you don’t remember much about your appointment.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

We closely monitor the dosages for our sedation dentistry patients, plus our IV sedation is handled by an anesthesiologist, so you can be assured you’ll be properly sedated and comfortable, yet completely safe.

How does sedation dentistry work?

It’s simple: you’re given a small pill to take 1 hour before your appointment, and you will feel very drowsy by the time you arrive. At the office, you’re given a thick, warm blanket, and we make sure you’re absolutely comfortable.

Am I a candidate for sedation dentistry?

Patients can confuse sedation and pain relief. Our patients feel nothing during any procedure due to our anesthetics. Dr. Frey offers sedation, not for pain, but to help patients deal with strong feelings of fear and anxiety that arise when they visit the dentist. After receiving sedation and successfully completing their appointment, patients often change the entire way they view dental appointments going forward. Sedation could be a great option if you:

  • Have difficult overcoming anxiety about the dentist
  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Have very sensitive teeth
  • Have a very strong gag reflex
  • Need a large amount of work done

Once you are sedated and comfortable, we then properly numb, or anesthetize, the area we are working on, ensuring that your procedure is pain-free.

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