Sedation Dentist San Diego

If you’re located in San Diego and looking for a qualified sedation dentist, San Diego’s Art of Dentistry can help take care of all your oral sedation dentistry needs.

Dr. David Landau, Dr. Lawrence Addleson and their extraordinary team are widely recognized for their top-quality smile designs. They’ve been awarded with recognition from their  peers for many consecutive years and have been credited for the “whole body” approach to cosmetic dentistry and dental health, which also means they’re well versed in caring for those with phobias or those who require specialized dental treatment, including sleep dentistry.


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Who’s a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Unfortunately, most dentists are all-too familiar with those who have severe dental anxiety or even outright dental phobia when it comes to scheduling a trip to see the tooth doc. In fact, nearly 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of deeply rooted fears surrounding dental procedures. But oral sedation isn’t just for those who are afraid of needles or having work done. In fact, sedation dentistry is often used in a variety of scenarios and is often used for those with:

  • Delicate gag reflex
  • Low pain tolerance
  • General oral sensitivity
  • Back, jaw or other physical ailments
  • Multiple dental issues
  • Multiple procedures

For those patients with a lot of cosmetic dental needs, such as fillings or crowns, sedation dentistry is often useful to help create a bit more comfort. These patients may not be afraid of the process, but conscious sedation helps patients feel a bit more comfortable — especially if they need to log more than a few hours in a chair to get all their work done. Sedation dentistry often creates an “amnesic aspect,” so those patients who need a lot of work will have little or no memory of what happened during the course of the day. This helps shorten the process, and patients often leave the office, comfortable and happy knowing that they’ve they’re healthier.

It’s also generally considered safe for almost all patients, including those who are pregnant.

What to Look for in a Sedation Dentist

Just as not all doctors can perform every type of surgery or procedure, not all dentists can administer sedation dentistry techniques. Sedation dentistry requires special training, and each state carries its own qualification requirements. In California, for example, before a dentist can legally practice sedation dentistry, they must complete:

  1. a board-approved educational program on oral medications and sedation
  2. At least 25 hours of training
  3. One live patient experience

They must also obtain a Oral Conscious Sedation Certification which proves they have completed the required training and in-class hours.

Once qualified, a dentist can provide oral conscious sedation dentistry in order to perform:

Minor oral surgery. Perhaps the most obvious type of procedure a sedation dentist performs is minor oral surgery. Of course, just about all oral surgery procedures require the use of sedation, which is why visiting a sedation dentist is important. There are several very common minor oral surgeries sedation dentists often offer, including:

  • Root canal work
  • Extractions
  • Dental implants

For minor surgeries, patients generally have an option to choose what type of anesthesia and sedation they’d feel most comfortable with, such as local anesthesia, general anesthesia, nitrous oxide(laughing gas), oral sedation and IV sedation.

Non-invasive treatments. Of course, more serious and complex procedures require sedation dentistry techniques, but most patients may not know that sedation dentistry can also be used in conjuction with local anesthetics for more minor procedures, such as fillings, cleanings and other dental appointments. For some, this type of work is just part of a routine check-up or appointment, but for others with dental anxiety, this can greatly increase comfort and alleviate fear. Now, sedation dentists offer patients the opportunity to use laughing gas or other forms of sedation for non-surgical procedures, such as:

  • Dental fillings
  • Scaling
  • Root planing
  • Crown placements

Cosmetic procedures. Sedation dentistry can also be used alongside cosmetic dentistry procedures as well. However, many people avoid common cosmetic treatments for fear of pain or simply because the amount of work needed feels inconvenient and they dread sitting in the dentists chair for that long. We get it… these types of appointments can be a hassle. But the good news is many sedation dentists also offer cosmetic procedures—think teeth whitening or straightening, dental implant placement, or the placement of veneers. For kids who may need braces, the combination of cosmetic and sedation dentistry is a wonderful way to help ease fears and make the whole process much easier, more comfortable and less scary!

The team at Art of Dentistry is a highly qualified team, with deep experience in oral sedation dentistry techniques. They’ve worked with countless patients, young and old, and are empathetic to those who need oral care, but also struggle with dental anxieties and phobias. They believe there’s no reason to put off the help you need and the smile you want. With sedation dentistry, you can rest easy knowing that your oral health is being taken care of by experienced dental professionals, while fears and concerns are greatly minimized… or even eliminated altogether!


Types of Sedation Dentistry Options

While “sleep dentistry” is the blanket term used to describe sedation techniques, it isn’t quite accurate. Not all sedation methods put you to sleep, and, honestly, that’s often not the goal. The main goal of dental sedation is to help make patients as comfortable as possible. Depending on the procedure, you likely will undergo oral conscious sedation.

The Art of Dentistry offers two sedation dentistry techniques:

Nitrous Oxide. Otherwise known as “laughing gas,” this approach uses a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen in a controlled amount. This sedation method tends to wear off quickly, so you’ll be back up and running in no time.

Oral Sedation. This is typically in the form of a pill that’s taken about an hour prior to your visit. Oral sedation dosages can be adjusted so that it’s administered in a mild to moderate dose. This will create a groggy affect, which greatly relaxes and sometimes even eases you to sleep. For this technique, you’ll need a companion to drive you to and from your visit.

Other types of sedation include:

IV Sedation. IV, or intravenous, sedation, is delivered through a vein, and because of this direct application, effects are felt faster than other techniques. However, the amount can be adjusted throughout the procedure to include the following levels and effects:

  • Minimal sedation. Awake, but relaxed. 
  • Moderate sedation. You’re awake, but may slur your words and not remember parts of the procedure. 
  • Deep sedation. You are on the edge of consciousness, close to sleep, but can be awakened easily.
  • General anesthesia. Completely unconscious.


Additional Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

There are a lot of advantages to choosing conscious sedation.

Better overall health. Instead of leaning into fear, sedation dentistry can help those with deep fears and anxieties make sure they’re taking care of their health. Dental care if just one piece of our comprehensive health puzzle and it’s important not to skip dental visits or miss out on needed dental care because of negative, previous experiences. In fact, studies have show that poor dental health can lead to:

  • Heart issues.  Clogged arteries have been tied to the inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria, such as endocarditis — an infection in the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves which is spread from bacteria carried through the bloodstream from other parts of the body (such as your mouth).
  • Birth complications. Periodontal disease  can cause premature birth as well as low birth weight.
  • Respiratory issues. Bacteria from your mouth can enter your lungs, causing pneumonia and other complications.

All reasons why maintaining a healthy mouth is critical to your wellbeing!

Increased comfort. Whether you have a severe dental phobia, or making a dental appointment is merely an inconvience, some procedures can just be a bit uncomfortable or require more time in the chair… and let’s face it, dental work isn’t really most people’s idea of a picnic. When you’re relaxed, the dentist can relax knowing you’re not in discomfort, and this helps the procedure pass more quickly and efficiently for all parties involved!

More work can be completed at once. When you’re relaxed, the dentist can work more quickly and won’t need to pause as often for a patient to readjust. This means more dental treatments can be completed in one office visit. This is especially helpful for those requiring more complex surgical procedures or having more invasive work done, such as dental implants, bridges or other specialized treatments.

Minimized Anxiety. Those who offer sedation dentistry understand that there may be many reasons why someone has fears or concerns around going to the dentist. It could center around the equipment used, a fear of pain, poor previous dental experiences, or a lack of control. Whatever the unique reason may be, your dentist can help talk through the sedation process so you better understand how it works. Those who may be afraid of needles, for example, may feel more relaxed knowing that local anesthetic will applied after the sedation.


About The Art of Dentistry

Our offices are located in Bankers Hill, just a few blocks away from the historic Balboa Park. Our location is easily accessible from the nearby neighborhoods of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Little Italy, and Downtown San Diego. We are just a short drive away from Mission Valley and Pacific Beach. No need to worry if you’re coming from further away, such as La Jolla or North County, as our offices are near both the 5 freeway and 163 freeway.

Book a consultation with our team to learn more about our treatments today.