Is it safe? Will it work for me? These are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Sedation Dentistry. There are many choices of sedation medicine and techniques that can be used. You and Dr. Oaxaca, Dr. Ong, and Dr. Jensen will review many factors like your individual medical history to choose which one is right for you.


What to expect? The goal of oral sedation is not to create sleep. Our goal is to create the most relaxed and comfortable appointment as possible, while you remain awake and conscious. However, many sedated patients feel they slept through the entire appointment. We create a relaxed and comfortable environment where a patient will experience little or no anxiety with little or no memory of the appointment. Dental work will not start until you are completely comfortable.

Many of our patients are administered an oral medicine the evening before the treatment appointment. This way when you arrive at the office you are already relaxed. Another dose of medicine may be administered about one hour before treatment begins to provide the necessary level of relaxation to complete your dental care. Historically these medications have proven to be safe and effective in millions upon millions of uses and therefore give us great confidence. There is even a medication available to reverse the effects!

To ensure your safety, while you are medicated you are continually monitored for vital signs. Baseline readings are taken at your first visit so we know what is normal for you. To ensure a successful sedation outcome it is important that you read and mark the sedation checklist that will be provided to you. It is also important that an accurate medical history is given along with a list of current prescribed and non-prescribed medications you are taking.


Our doctors and highly trained team will make sure that you are well taken care of during your intravenous sedation or deep sedation appointment. We monitor all your vital signs carefully during the treatment, and select members of our team have advanced life-saving training and certification.

  • IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

Difficulty Getting Numb

Some people perceive pain differently than others or at a much lower stimulus. Sometimes obtaining adequate tooth numbness to perform painless treatment is impossible. With general anesthesia and sedation, this experience can be eliminated.

Extensive Treatment

For procedures such as implant dentistry or full mouth rehabilitation, and extended procedures such as periodontal surgery, root canal therapy, and surgery, anesthesia services provide increased patient comfort.

Many busy adults may also benefit greatly from the use of anesthetics because it saves them from having to go to the dentist several times. With the use of anesthetics, most dental work can be done in one visit.

Gagging Difficulty

Some fear of dental procedures stems from one’s hyperactive gag reflex when objects are placed within the mouth. Also, fear of choking on or swallowing dental instruments and material evoke a severe gag reflex. Anesthesia will eliminate this reflex and fear of this happening.