What is Sedation Dentistry?

If you have an intense fear of the dentist, you are not alone. Many people feel a lot of anxiety at just the thought of visiting the dental office. At Maidu Dental we know how important oral health is to your overall health and we are passionate about providing dental care to everyone and not allowing fear to be a barrier to a healthy smile. This is why we have incorporated a range of sedation dentistry options into our Auburn, CA dental practice.

Sedation dentistry is for people that have a fear or anxiety at the dentist, have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time, have a hard time getting numb and staying numb or have a gag reflex that has made it difficult to have dental treatment in the past.

Sedation can be used for treatments as simple as a filling, or for more complex dental treatment such as a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. Patients have expressed their satisfaction with the process and their appreciation for offering this relaxing alternative. The introduction of sedation dentistry has allowed patients who have avoided the dentist for years to receive the dental care they need.


Yes. While there are risks with any procedure, oral and IV sedation are very safe. Dr. Luminita Markham has extra training and is certified in oral conscious sedation.  Our oral surgeon, Dr. Richard Jackson, is board-certified and has extensive experience providing IV sedation.


Another advantage of having sedation dentistry performed at Maidu Dental with Dr. Luminita Markham is that we can provide more complex treatments than can be offered by a less experienced general dentist. Dr. Luminita  Markham has had additional training at prestigious programs such as the Pankey Institute and the Spear Education Institute and is able to apply this advanced knowledge of dentistry for all of her patients – and especially for her sedation patients.

It’s often difficult to coordinate complex dental treatment with multiple specialists for patients who require sedation, but at Maidu Dental, we have specialists in our office. Because we have our oral surgeon, Dr. Richard Jackson present, and with Dr. David Markham, our board-certified orthodontist, we are able to provide multi-specialty care that is simply not available in other dental offices.


There are three types of sedation options offered at Maidu Dental: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. Regardless of the sedation option you choose, we strive to make the process as effortless as possible. We will not begin treatment until you are completely relaxed and you give us permission to get started. Oftentimes we can get a lot of dentistry done in a short amount of time. Most often, even all the dentistry that you need in that one visit. And the most important thing: you will have no memory of the dental appointment!


Often called laughing gas or sweet air, nitrous oxide is a common form of sedation that produces an euphoric effect. Nitrous oxide has been safely used for over a century during dental procedures to relieve anxiety in both children and adults. Nitrous helps calm you throughout the dental visit. You will be awake during the treatment but you will feel very relaxed.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is the less invasive of the two. You take a small pill on an empty stomach an hour before your appointment. The pill will act as a mild sedative and will quell your anxiety. A family member or friend will need to drive you to the office, as you will feel a little drowsy. We will evaluate you and if you still feel anxious, we will give you a little more medication if necessary. With oral sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but you will be in a deep state of relaxation. When the appointment is over, your family member will drive you home. The day after your dental appointment you will feel completely normal except for one thing: you won’t remember much about your dental visit.

IV Sedation

Patients receiving deep IV sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure. Patients often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the procedure. If you choose IV sedation, we require you to have a family member, spouse, or friend accompany you to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment at (530) 823-8771.