If you’re nervous going to the dentist because of painful experiences in the past, sedation dentistry may be a good solution for you. Be assured you are not the only patient we’ve had with dental fears. Dr. Arash Azarbal is very sensitive to the needs of fearful patients. He takes time to listen to your concerns.

“There are many key factors that make Dr. Azarbal an absolute pleasure to work with. I used to be afraid of going into the dentist’s office, fearing not knowing what is going on. Dr. Azarbal won me over with his patience and willingness to explain the procedures.”

Tom W. 

Sedation Dentistry Options

Dr. Azarbal offers three levels of sedation dentistry. The first is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This is a mild form of sedation that can completely relax you.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a sedative gas. It helps relieve any stress you feel during dental procedures. Once your dental work is completed, you will be given oxygen to clear your head. The effects of nitrous oxide generally wear off fast, and you’ll be functioning normally and will even be able to drive yourself home from your appointment or return to work. Properly administered nitrous oxide is safe and effective.

Nitrous Oxide and Local Anesthetic

We sometimes have patients say they are highly resistant to local anesthetic. One factor that can contribute to this is that the stress from dental anxiety can cause local anesthetic to wear off and be less effective. If this has happened to you in the past, generally a little nitrous oxide will relax you enough that the local anesthetic is able to do its job.

If you don’t think nitrous oxide will be strong enough for you, we are able to do a stronger IV sedation. Your comfort is important to us. If you have dental anxiety, we can help. You may call our office to make an appointment, or you may request an appointment online.

Single Dose Sedation and Nitrous Oxide (Oral Conscious Sedation)

The second option is a single dose sedative medication given approximately an hour before treatment with or without nitrous oxide. The vast majority of patients who want or need sedation can be treated safely using this protocol. Under this protocol, medications are administered at the office and combined with nitrous oxide to make you comfortable and anxiety-free during the procedure.

IV Sedation or General Anesthesia

A third, stronger form of sedation is IV sedation. We have a board-certified anesthesiologist administer the IV sedation or General Anesthesia. This is the option we use with our patients who tell us they want to be “out” during the entire procedure. You will wake up without remembering the procedure, with your dental work completed. The Anesthesiologist in conjunction with the patient will determine which option will be more ideal between IV sedation and General Anesthesia, based on patient’s medical history and other considerations.

Fear isn’t the only reason for using a sedation dentist. Often we have patients who use sedation dentistry when they need extensive dental work. It can get both expensive and disruptive to have multiple appointments. It costs you time and income from missed work. With sedation dentistry, you can have several procedures done in the same appointment.

Reasons for Using a Sedation Dentist

  • If you have a fear of dental procedures.
  • If you have sensitive teeth.
  • If you have a strong gag reflex.
  • If you have a fear of dental shots or needles.
  • If you need extensive dental work.

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry Options

To help you become well-informed about your sedation options, our dentist, Dr. Arash Azarbal has answered some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about these relaxation methods. If you have additional inquiries, please reach out to our skilled team.

What is the difference between sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a broad term that includes all forms of sedation, including nitrous oxide, oral conscious, and IV sedation and General Anesthesia. Sleep dentistry specifically refers to IV sedation or General Anesthesia that puts you into a completely unconscious state. This is the rarest type of sedation used. If oral sedation is not substantial enough for your needs, sleep dentistry is usually the alternative. Sleep Dentistry is recommended for individuals with severe dental phobia who have extensive dental work to complete.

Can any dentist perform sedation?

Most dentists utilize nitrous oxide gas in their practice, and this mild form of sedation can be performed safely by a skilled professional. To provide oral conscious sedation and more advanced techniques, additional training is required. If IV sedation is to be used, it’s in your  best interest to have a board-certified anesthesiologist administering the anesthesia and monitoring you throughout the procedure, as we do at Pasadena Dental Aesthetics.

Which sedation technique is right for me?

If you feel some anxiety about your treatment, nitrous oxide should be sufficient to help you relax and feel calmer during your time with us. If your phobia is more severe, or if you are planning to have multiple procedures performed, oral conscious sedation or IV sedation may be right for you. If you think you might need oral conscious sedation or sleep dentistry (IV sedation or General Anesthesia), please talk to our dental team to discuss your needs and plan for your consultation. An initial meeting will be necessary before your appointment so that we can review your medical history and provide the highest level of care possible.

Dr. Azarbal will listen to your concerns, assess your needs, and determine which type of sedation is right for you. If you would like to have a productive and relaxing dental experience, contact our office to schedule an appointment.