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.

Dentist holding a mirror in front of patient

Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Timothy J. Rolfes, and Pravay Padia 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, Timothy J. Rolfes or Pravay Padia 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, Timothy J. Rolfes, and Pravay Padia 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.

    All about sedation dentistry at Smiles4OC

    All about sedation dentistry at Smiles4OC
    What is sedation dentistry? What are the sedation choices you have when you visit the dentist? Watch this video to learn more about sedation dentistry at Smiles4OC.

    How important is sedation dentistry at Smiles4OC?

    At Smiles4OC, we believe in making you as comfortable as possible during your dental appointment. Depending on your medical conditions, anxiety level, or just your preference, we can make your dental appointment easy.

    What are the sedation choices available at Smiles4OC?

    The choices that we offer at Smiles4OC are having your appointment scheduled using a local anesthetic. If you are comfortable with that, we proceed. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is also a good option and is the choice of our patients often we use it for their hygiene or a restorative appointment.

    Then there is the oral conscious sedation. We dispense a medication that you need to take one hour before your appointment. When you arrive at the office, we will get you comfortable in the chair with a warm blanket and a neck roll. Combined with the laughing gas, you will be relaxed while we perform your dentistry.

    Dr. Thomas Rolfes, is one of the few licensed general dentists in the state of California that can provide IV sedation dentistry. With IV sedation, you are asleep. So, we can perform long appointments.

    If you have a high level of anxiety, an exceptionally long appointment, or a small child that won’t be able to sit still, then we would recommend general anesthesia. For our patients that require general anesthesia, we have Dr. Terry Yun come in. He’s a licensed general anesthesiologist

    Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Thomas

    Dr. Thomas

    Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Christina

    Dr. Christina

    Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Tim

    Dr. Tim

    Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Pravay

    Dr. Pravay

    Having earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University, Dr. Thomas Rolfes has been providing dental care from his Costa Mesa location since 1984. He holds a Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry, among memberships from many prestigious organizations. Dr. Christina Do, specializing in laser dentistry, and Dr. Timothy Rolfes, whose passion is community dentistry, also comprise the team, including skilled hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in the area fulfill their dental needs. The new addition to our family, Dr. Pravay Padia, brings with him over 10 years of experience in the dental field, with expertise in endodontics and cosmetic dentistry.