What are the Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?

The benefits of sedation dentistry are numerous, and can help a wide range of patients attain dental care they would otherwise put off. Our patients at OC Lifesmiles who take advantage of sedation dentistry’s ability to put them at ease often have conditions such as:

  •      Dental phobia
  •      High levels of anxiety or stress
  •      Sensitive teeth
  •      Low threshold for pain
  •      Severe gag reflex

Sedation dentistry can also be ideal for patients who may have been avoiding the dentist for many years and now need a number of treatments performed to achieve a healthy smile. These techniques can greatly reduce the overall number of office visits required for successful results.

With such clear benefits, our patients often wonder if sedation dentistry is safe and what side effects they might expect. At OC Lifesmiles, your safety and comfort are our top priorities. As a member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, Dr. John Cross is highly qualified to administer these anxiety-reducing treatments. During the consultation process, he will carefully review your medical history and ask about any medications you are currently taking to determine if you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry. The most common side effects from oral conscious sedation are grogginess and sleepiness once the treatment is complete. Some patients also experience a temporary “dry-mouth” sensation following the procedure, and others may have a slight headache or a feeling of lightheadedness. With that in mind, those effects often fade quickly, if they are present at all.


We do recommend that patients arrange for a ride home from the office, as they will likely still feel too drowsy to drive safely. Patients who are obese or have a history of sleep apnea should speak to their general physician before undergoing sedation. However, for most patients, sedation dentistry allows them to safely and easily obtain the care they need to keep their smile healthy and beautiful.

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Dr. Cross has done such a fabulous job in the 8+ years I’ve been his patient, it leaves him with very little work to do on me these past few years. I appreciate how he embraces and has mastered cutting-edge technology. It’s also comforting that he remembers minor details about the condition of my teeth without even having to refer to my chart. The girls at the front desk have an equally impressive memory and are so sweet and friendly.

~ Happy Patient

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