Do you suffer from anxiety at the thought of going to the dentist? Fear is the number one reason that may prevent someone from visiting the dentist for necessary dental work. Some just do not like the idea of needles and drilling. Others have had a previous traumatic experience at the dentist. If you are one of these individuals, or if you need a complex dental procedure, sedation can make dentistry more comfortable. Costa Mesa, CA area patients are welcome to visit Smiles4OC to learn about a variety of sedation methods including a popular choice, oral conscious sedation. Sedation Dentistry


Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes provide comprehensive services, including sedation dentistry, in a comfortable atmosphere with the benefits to alleviate dental stress, and reduce the time and number of visits required. This is achieved thanks to sedation methods available to keep patients from avoiding care due to dental anxiety.


At Smiles4OC, we proudly offer four types of sedation which include:

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Oral conscious sedation
  • IV sedation
  • General anesthesia


Nitrous oxide, a colorless gas with a slightly sweet smell (you might know it as “laughing gas”) is combined with oxygen and simply inhaled by the patient through a mask over the nose. This method requires the least amount of medication in a carefully controlled dose.

Nitrous “takes the edge off” for a nervous patient. But you remain conscious throughout your treatment. There is no residual effect. As soon as the mask comes off, the sensation of the gas goes away. You can safely drive yourself home, and go about the rest of your day without complications. Patients who have mild dental anxiety may find this to be a great option for them. Nitrous oxide can also be used for a patient who has an extremely strong gag reflex and may have an otherwise unpleasant experience during cleanings and examinations.


Oral sedation, taken by mouth in a single dose or in increments, results in a deeper state of relaxation and does have a residual effect. We may combine oral sedation with nitrous oxide, depending on your needs. You will still be conscious, just relaxed, and unconcerned about the treatment. The effects of oral sedation take a little longer to wear off, so you will need someone to drive you to the office and then back home. Oral conscious sedation is one of the most popular choices for patients with more moderate levels of dental anxiety. It also lasts a considerable amount of time, and is taken before patients even arrive at the office for their treatments. Oral conscious sedation is a great option for many of our patients.


IV sedation is a deeper level of sedation that will allow for virtually no memory or discomfort during your visit. This option is used very successfully for even the most nervous patients, as it allows immediate adjustments to the amount of medication needed to keep you relaxed and comfortable. We typically consider this method of sedation for patients with more severe cases of dental anxiety or for procedures which require extensive time in the dental chair.


General anesthesia is given through an intra-venous line. It is suitable for a patient who wants to be completely unaware of the dental procedure. A medical anesthesiologist administers the drug and monitors the patient throughout the treatment. You are unaware of the dental treatment, and will wake up with no recollection of the procedure. Patients who undergo dental treatments with general anesthesia will want to arrange transportation for their appointment.

The latest sedation dentistry methods and technology allow our patients to maintain a healthy mouth with minimal discomfort.


Any patient who has dental anxiety can benefit from sedation dentistry. It is essential that patients book an initial appointment with Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, or Timothy J. Rolfes to learn more about each option and determine the one most beneficial for a patient’s specific needs. Many of these methods are best suited for patients with moderate to severe dental anxieties, while minor uneasiness can be addressed with the use of nitrous oxide.


Yes! All our methods of sedation are completely safe for our patients and allow them to enjoy their experience in the dental office rather than dread it. Our professionals assist in choosing the most appropriate option and welcome patients who are considering integrating sedation into their next visit. Methods of sedation including IV sedation and general anesthesia are monitored by professionals to ensure they are safe and receiving the proper dosage throughout their procedures.


Many children who are fearful of the dentist can benefit from nitrous oxide to help get them through their appointment. However, the other methods can all be adjusted for children as needed. Children with certain sensory disorders who may be difficult to calm in a dental situation may benefit from some of the stronger forms of sedation including IV sedation or general anesthesia.


Do not avoid the care you need because of dental anxiety. Ask us about sedation options. We can assist you in choosing the sedative method right for your next visit to put your mind at ease and relax you for a positive experience in the dental chair!


If you are ready to enjoy painless, comfortable dentistry, even with dental anxiety, we encourage you to speak to the team of Smiles4OC in Costa Mesa, CA to learn more about sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes can help you decide which sedation method is best for you. Contact the office by calling (714) 557-0700 and visiting at 1530 Baker Street, Suite J.

Google Review
The team at Smiles4OC has made my dental visits one of the best. Throughout all the dental treatments I needed they were all wonderful. Dr Tim Rolfes did a great job with my crowns and Dr Dunne did an awesome job with my fillings. The experience in overall was great, love seeing everyone smile with warm greetings. Highly recommend ! :) Originally posted on
Google Reviews

Did you know that you can now share the experience you had with us via an audio testimonial?

Call this toll-free number (855) 980 2503 and record your audio review now!

Recording an audio review is as easy as making a phone call!

Appointment RequeST

Dental Education Videos

Dental educational Videos

Dr.Thomas J.Rolfes, Smiles4OC Dr.Christina T.Do, Smiles4OC Dr.Cary J.Dunne, Smiles4OC


WCLI Institute Academy of General Dentistry California Dental Association ADA Orange County Dental Society Orange County Dental Society American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry American Dental Association An Association Dedicated To Dental Office Management Spear Education

Brands Used

WCLI Institute Academy of General Dentistry California Dental Association ADA Orange County Dental Society Spear Education