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The Types of Sedation Dentistry and Why They are Used

Dr. Joseph Goodman in beverly hills

Dental sedation, or sleep dentistry, is a popular option for many patients facing extensive dental treatments or who experience dental anxiety. There are many levels of sedation used in cosmetic dentistry, depending on patient history and which dental procedures will be performed.


Let’s explore the types of sedation dentistry available and the sedation dentistry costs and benefits.


The Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are many forms of sedation that can be used during dental visits. The general categories and terms used by your sedation dentist are:


  • Minimal sedation, where you are awake but feeling more relaxed than normal
  • Moderate sedation, where you are conscious but feeling deeply relaxed and may not remember things clearly
  • Deep sedation, where you are almost unconscious and unlikely to remember your dental work but can be awakened
  • General anesthesia, where you are deeply asleep and will not wake until the procedure is over


Why Might Your Dentist Recommend Sedation?

There might be specific medical reasons that your dentist or doctor recommends sedation for your dental procedure. Very often, patients are interested in sedation options for reasons unique to their own experience. Some of the reasons to consider sedation dentistry include:


  • Having had a traumatic or painful dental experience in the past
  • Having very sensitive teeth
  • Experiencing dental anxiety, claustrophobia, or fear of needles
  • Being bothered by the noises and smells of a dentist’s office
  • Having a sensitive gag reflex or difficulty controlling body movements
  • Being naturally resistant to local anesthetics (Novacaine)
  • Having other special needs that make dental procedures challenging to complete
  • Needing extensive dental work that can be completed in one visit with sedation


Choosing The Right Level of Dental Sedation

An experienced sedation dentist will help you select the right form of sedation after discussing your specific concerns and developing a plan for treatment. This might include a combination of strategies, including one or more of the following:1


  • Mild sedation with laughing gas. Nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen is used to relax patients while they remain awake and is a good choice for patients with mild dental anxiety. Using laughing gas allows your dentist to complete a planned dental procedure with a minimum of discomfort.
  • Moderate to deep sedation with twilight sleep. For those who need more extensive dental treatments, a broad range of medications can be used to relax the patient and induce a near sleep with little or no memory of the procedure. Medications may be oral or given through an IV.
  • Full sedation with a dental anesthesiologist. For major reconstruction or when it fits the needs of the patient, your dentist may bring in a dental anesthesiologist for full IV sedation and monitoring. This allows your cosmetic dentist to focus on the restorative procedures while you sleep safely through the entire process.


Choosing an Experienced Sedation Dentist

dentist in beverly hills dr goodman


Dental insurance may cover the costs of sedation if your dentist recommends it based on a medical condition or disability. Choosing a well-respected dentist with an impressive portfolio of their work will help you wake up to the smile you have always wanted. Dr. Joseph Goodman is a trusted dentist to physicians, celebrities, and models in the Beverly Hills area and has been awarded the titles of Best Dentist and Top Dentist many times in recent years.


You might have seen Dr. Goodman working with the Dr. Phil Show or The Doctors TV show, consulting on dental makeovers and challenging cases. He also lectures internationally and works to advance the art and science of cosmetic dentistry worldwide. If you are looking for a top cosmetic dentist with the best sedation options available, schedule a consultation with Dr. Goodman’s team today.



  1. https://www.topbeverlyhillsdentist.com/sedation-dentistry/

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