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Sedation Dentistry

sedation dentist in Carlsbad, CA

Soothing Sedation Dentistry Treatments Available In Carlsbad

Do you find yourself putting off dental treatment or telling yourself tooth pain isn’t all that bad because you want to avoid seeing a dentist? These moments of hesitation are often caused by dental anxiety and can be treated by La Costa Dental Excellence using sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry includes a variety of techniques to help alleviate dental anxiety, a condition that affects over 20% of the world’s population. Our dedicated team of dental professionals offers these treatments to ensure you have peace of mind and the most comfortable experience possible while receiving the care you deserve.

Better Oral Health With Less Stress

At La Costa Dental Excellence, we strive to meet your every need when it comes to dental health, and that includes comfort levels. Sedation dentistry is designed to treat mild to severe anxiety that may keep individuals from scheduling necessary treatments or help them through longer procedures.

Consider asking about sedation if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have elevated stress concerning dental or medical procedures
  • You have a highly sensitive gag reflex
  • You are considering extensive treatment
  • You are planning on having more than one procedure done at a time
  • You tend to have muscle issues in your neck, shoulders, and back
laughing gas sedation dentistry for Carlsbad and San Marcos, CA
"The morning of my appointment flew by and I never had any discomfort. My bite and my smile are perfect.”
help for dental anxiety in Carlsbad, CA

Get Treated With Ease at La Costa Dental Excellence

La Costa Dental Excellence has decades of combined experience providing our wonderful patients with the brightest and healthiest smiles. However, we understand there can be certain stresses associated with dentists.

While the warm and welcoming atmosphere of our practice can be a relaxing area for most patients, we know that some patients suffer from dental anxiety and may want to discuss sedation options prior to their procedures.

You can enjoy peace of mind knowing our office has taken every step to ensure you receive compassionate, comprehensive, and comfortable dental care with the help of dental sedation.

Call Now to Experience Stress-Free Dentistry

To learn how you or a loved one can get the oral care they want without dental anxiety getting in the way, contact La Costa Dental Excellence for a sedation dentistry consultation. We are available over the phone, through text messaging, or you can book online.

Book Online
sedation dentist for Carlsbad and San Marcos, CA

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help Me?

Relieving Fear of Visiting the Dentist

Fear of visiting the dentist is incredibly common. Unfortunately, avoiding dental visits can jeopardize our dental health. By ignoring dental discomforts such as toothaches or regularly scheduled visits, it can turn a minor issue into a major problem.

Sedation dentistry can help resolve mild to intense dental anxiety. Even if you feel undue stress prior to your visit, we have a sedation method that can help.

Minimizing Anxiety When Being Around Dentists

Being in medical situations or around medical personnel can cause elevated levels of stress for some—even leading to a condition called “white coat syndrome” which describes patients who have a faster heart rate and blood pressure when at a doctor’s office.

Sedation can help reduce your physical and mental stress at the dentist. We’ll work with you to decide which method of sedation would be ideal for your situation.

Help With Extra Sensitive Teeth Or Nerves

Note that sedation dentistry is not intended for pain management. That is handled by local anesthetics, which is always properly administered for each procedure by our dedicated dental team.

However, many patients who have extra sensitive teeth or soft tissue have benefited from sedation dentistry along with anesthesia or numbing agents. By allowing both your mind and body to relax, you feel much less pain or fear.

Alleviate Gag Reflex Issues

Some of us have more delicate constitutions than others, which makes coughing and gagging an issue during dental procedures. Thankfully, sedation dentistry provides an excellent solution by alleviating tension in the body. This allows for a smooth and relaxed treatment for you. This also helps the dental team work faster and more efficiently without you flinching at their every movement.

Address Physical Issues and Involuntary Movement

We understand for some, the need to move is natural, and sitting down for a length of time isn’t part of who you are.

Sedation dentistry can address these types of issues, allowing for a calm and relaxing treatment for all types of people. It may be the solution if you or a loved one have any special needs concerning involuntary movement: such as Tourette Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, or Dystonia.

Difficulty Getting Numb

Sedation dentistry is not the same as anesthetics. However, both treatments complement each other in a variety of ways. This is wonderful news if you have difficulty getting numb or have a high tolerance to anesthesia.

With added sedation dentistry, the anesthesia can be much more effective without your body carrying as much tension. After all, a calm, tension-free environment is ideal for dental treatment.

Extensive Work Needed During a Single Visit

If more than one service is needed during a single visit, or extensive care is required to restore a patient’s oral health, it can take time.

To help with comfort or any anxiety during these extensive services, sedation dentistry options can help. Sedation will help you feel comfortable being in a seated position for extended periods of time. It can also save time on your schedule by reducing your trips to our office.

Reducing Neck and Back Pain

Many Americans suffer from muscle stiffness or pain centered around their neck which is often agitated during dental procedures. If this applies to you, sedation dentistry may be the solution to stop making dentist appointments a literal pain in the neck!

Sedation dentistry soothes tension in your muscles, keeping them relaxed so they don’t ache even while in a reclined or seated position.

What Types of Sedation Are There?

Inhaled Sedation

Perhaps the most well-known method of sedation dentistry, more commonly known as nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.” With inhaled sedation, a mask is comfortably placed over your nose, allowing you to breathe in the laughing gas which relaxes your body while keeping your mind alert. The effects wear off soon after the mask is removed, making it safe for you to drive home after your treatment.

Oral Sedation

This is an ideal method of sedation for those with higher levels of dental anxiety or feel increased levels of stress before they even arrive at the dentist. This method is prescribed as a pill, taken about an hour before your appointment. It will make you drowsy, meaning you will need to arrange for transport to and from treatment.

Although you may feel drowsy, you will still be conscious during your treatment.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is a well-tested heavier form of dental sedation. Much like laughing gas, you’ll have the sedation started as soon as you get to the dental chair, and the effects start almost immediately; the liquid solution just goes straight to your veins instead of being inhaled as a gas. This is ideal for patients with extreme anxiety or physical troubles staying still.

General Anesthesia

Though its name sounds like a common sedation method, general anesthesia is not a standard dental sedation method. This is the type of sedation that will put you all the way under and requires a certified professional to administer and monitor throughout your appointment. This method of sedation is generally only used on more extensive treatments, severely fearful patients, or those with complex medical histories.

The Sedation Dentistry Process

The Consultation

Scheduling a consultation is the first step in determining how sedation dentistry can benefit you. We will discuss your dental health goals, expectations of treatment, any current medications you are taking, as well as why you need sedation. You should feel encouraged to ask any questions you may have concerning your treatment.

If you are seeking sedation dentistry to help with dental anxiety, involuntary movement, or physical discomfort, please let us know so we can work together to make your treatment a personalized plan for success.


During your consultation, we would discuss which one of our sedation methods would best accompany your needed treatment so we can have it prepared ahead of time for your next appointment.

On the day of your treatment, you will arrive at the scheduled time and receive the wonderful, compassionate care that La Costa Dental Excellence is known for. Thanks to our dedicated dental team and additional relaxation of sedation dentistry, you will be sure to have a calm and comfortable experience.


Depending on which sedation method you select, transportation may need to be arranged. Inhaled sedation (laughing gas) leaves the body rather quickly, allowing you to drive to and from your appointment yourself.

Oral sedation and IV sedation will both take much longer to leave your system after your treatment. You should feel fine within a few hours, but it won’t fully leave your system for up to 24 hours. You should arrange for a ride home as well as any transportation needs until the next day.


The recovery time from sedation dentistry varies depending on treatment, and there are minimal side effects if any. For inhaled sedation, patients are often completely recovered within 15 minutes, though you may feel some slight lightheadedness during that time.

Oral sedation and IV sedation both require a bit more time to leave a patient’s system. You should feel less groggy in a few hours, but it can take up to 24 hours to fully leave your system. This can lead to dry mouth, grogginess, and a slight headache.

What to Consider Before Using Dental Sedation

Our patients at La Costa Dental Excellence know our goal is providing them with the most compassionate and comprehensive care possible. To meet that goal, here are additional considerations to help determine whether sedation dentistry is right for you.

Sedation should only be administered by an experienced, licensed medical professional like those at La Costa Dental Excellence. While usually safe, sedation and anesthesia can interfere with certain medical conditions or medications.

You may want to consult your doctor about sedation dentistry if you:

  • Have medications you can’t go without
  • Are allergic to benzodiazepines
  • Have chronic bronchitis or respiratory disease

Here at La Costa Dental Excellence, we do not use sedation on children.

Unfortunately, no. We take every precaution at our practice to ensure your safety, and sedation dentistry may cause undue stress to pregnant patients or their babies. We can discuss other safer options for you to feel relaxed during your treatment, such as a warm blanket or an eye mask. In some cases, we may also be able to postpone a treatment until after the baby comes so you can get sedation then.

The recovery time can vary depending on the sedation method used. Patients who select the inhaled sedation method recover in 15 minutes; this is because the sedation is in your airways and can be cleared quickly by breathing fresh air. Oral and IV sedation patients need around 24 hours to fully recover, as the sedation is deeper in your bloodstream. Most feel drowsy for the rest of the day after their treatment.

It is unlikely that the sedation dentistry technique will be much of an interference. The inhaled sedation allows most patients a full recovery in under 30 minutes.

Oral and IV sedation patients need 24 hours to recover, so you should take at least the rest of the day and possibly the next morning off work. The most severe side effects are drowsiness or a slight headache.

As discussed in earlier sections, you may drive yourself home from your appointment if you used the inhaled sedation method (aka nitrous oxide or laughing gas). If you choose oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, you will need to arrange for someone else to drive you for the rest of the day until the drug fully leaves your system in 24 hours.

In most cases, you can eat and drink immediately after your appointment with any of the sedation methods, though you may not want to. If you need a local numbing agent, you should wait until that has mostly worn off before eating, so you avoid biting your tongue or cheek. Nausea may also be a side effect of your sedation that may make food seem less appetizing.

While most cases of sedation dentistry have mild to no after-effects at all, call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following during your recovery:

  • Nausea or vomiting that is not going away or improving
  • Fever over 101º F / 38º C

Contact the dentist at La Costa Dental Excellence if you have lingering oral pain that does not improve.

Why Wait? Schedule Your Sedation Dentistry Consultation Now!

La Costa Dental Excellence has been helping the wonderful people of Carlsbad get the brilliant, healthy smiles they deserve for years! If you or a loved one has dental anxiety, put those fears to rest and schedule your sedation dentistry consultation today!

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Academy of Osseointegration ADA California Implant Institute Crown Council California Dental Association DOCS Education Kois Center Wellness Dentistry Network