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Common Questions

Will the treatment be painful?

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours.

What if I am nervous or scared?

If just the thought of having dental procedures done produces mild to severe anxiety in you… you are not alone!  Many patients feel this way.  Now imagine if you could have all of your endodontic treatment completed in one to two appointments while you were relaxed and completely comfortable during the entire procedure.  We also can bring in an anesthesiologist to put you more “asleep” for the procedure if you like.  These options allow many of our patients to deal with their fear and to get the dentistry they want and need done while being relaxed and comfortable the whole time with very little, if any,  memory of the procedure itself.  Time passes very quickly when you are sedated as well.  Hours will seem like minutes.

What is Sedation?

Sedation is the administration of consciousness altering medications to achieve a more comfortable and relaxed state for the patients during dental procedures. Sedation comes in two forms, Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS) and Intravenous Sedation (IV).  Sedation is not the administration of local anesthetics. Those will be given to you to keep you comfortable whether you are sedated or not.  It is also not General Anesthesia in which you would be intubated and put into a deeper level of sedation.

What is the difference between Oral Conscious Sedation and Intravenous Anesthesia?

Oral Conscious Sedation involves giving you medication prior to the appointment the day of treatment.  (All of our doctors are certified to administer oral conscious sedation).  If you are very anxious we can prescribe medication to take the night before the appointment as well assuring you a good night’s sleep prior to your appointment.   As the medications take effect, you will usually become more relaxed and sleepy prior to the actual treatment.  It is very important that you have not had anything to eat or drink during the previous six (6) hours.  If you have drank or eaten something within that time window, the appointment will be rescheduled for your safety. 

Intravenous Anesthesia means that you will be more “asleep” during your treatment than if given Oral Conscious Sedation medications.  Intravenous Anesthesia is administered by an Anesthesiologist at our office the day of treatment.  In Oral Conscious Sedation, we are limited in the medications we are able to give and their dosages.  Intravenous Anesthesia allows us to select from a greater variety of drugs and gives us more flexibility in adjusting dosages.  With Intravenous Anesthesia the drug effects and safety are much more predictable and may be adjusted during the course of treatment according to your needs.  The anesthesiologist will be administering and adjusting the medications and monitoring you constantly during the entire procedure. The treating Endodontist will be able to concentrate their full attention on the treatment of the tooth itself.

What can I expect after treatment?

When your treatment is complete, you may be a bit wobbly, so your companion will take you home and stay with you until you have recovered.  You will be somewhat sleepy but responsive to verbal interaction before you are released to your companion.  After the appointment you will probably want to sleep.  This is fine.  Try to drink as much fluid as possible after the appointment as this will flush the medications from your system more quickly.  Be cautious in the activities you do during the rest of the day.  Sports, driving, operating machinery and other activities requiring judgment and coordination would be inappropriate until the next day and you feel back to normal in terms of judgment and reflexes.  If you have any questions, please call our office.  You will be amazed at how much can be accomplished in such a seemingly short period of time, while you were totally relaxed, and completely comfortable.  And best of all, the very next day you will feel fantastic.

Is there an additional fee for these services?

Yes.  Similar to sedation administered in hospitals and other outpatient settings, we are required to charge an additional fee for these services as they necessitate additional time, attention, monitoring, equipment, liability, insurance, continuing education, licensing, staffing and supplies.  The fees will be discussed clearly with you prior to any treatment.

Pregnancy and Sedation

Any drugs given to a pregnant mother go to the fetus through the maternal circulation.  So, any drugs given to the mother are given to the fetus.  Many of the drugs used in sedation are restricted (not used) in pregnant women.   Therefore, it is essential that we know if you are pregnant or if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant at the time of the appointment.

Can any dentist administer oral conscious sedation?

NO!  All our doctors have additional training and certificates that allow them to administer sedation medications.  You can check the California Dental Boards website to verify license and certificate information to see the certificates listed.$lcev2.startup?p_qte_code=DDS&p_qte_pgm_code=3610

176 Auburn Court, Suite 6
Westlake Village, CA 91362


James E. Bollinger, D.D.S., INC.

Ryan C. Stoops, D.D.S., INC.

Dianna Z. Volk, DDS, MS