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Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas” has been utilized for many decades in dentistry. It is a safe and innocuous means of providing reduced anxiety. It’s primary benefit is that it’s effects wear off rapidly allowing patients to drive themselves to and from their appointments. The effects are mild and as in all clinical techniques, must be used correctly to minimize complications.

Inhalation Sedation

is the gold standard for both control and depth of sedation. Through an intravenous catheter, small amounts of sedative medications are delivered in increments to achieve a desired effect. Because unlike swallowed pills, they do not have to be digested first, the effects are faster and more easily measured and controlled. The intravenous access also provides for faster reversal than the oral method should it be needed. Dr. Nichols has had extensive training and experience with this procedure, safely sedating well over a hundred patients without incident. His careful technique and advanced monitoring skills allow him to provide those patients who need it, a level of comfort knowing he operates within very safe parameters.

Dr. Nichols is eternally vigilant in his dedication to providing a safe, effective and relaxing experience during dental procedures and is very proud to be one of only a few General Dentists licensed to provide this service.

Intravenous (or I.V.) Sedation

Moderate to severe anxiety, strong gag reflexes and mild cardiovascular problems can become significant barriers to patients feeling comfortable with seeking dental care.  Small dental problems can be left to progress into larger ones requiring more costly and invasive means of treating them.

Unfortunately many people suffer from dental anxiety from a previous poor experience, which like PTSD can have a dramatic affect on their oral health and quality of life. Fortunately the growing scope of Conscious Sedation Dentistry procedures allow us to treat patients who avoided treatment until it was too late or required costly hospitalizations to address their issues or manage debilitating infections.


Similar oral medications at lower doses are used by many people to help

manage anxiety disorders. In a dental setting these medications can be used to provide mild sedation and reduced anxiety during procedures. Monitoring of the patient’s vitals is an important component to their safe use. They have limitations regarding the degree of sedation, the amount of effective dosing and the ability to quickly reverse their effects. Like the top of a roller coaster, once the pill is swallowed it’s effects can be difficult to time, measure and reverse if needed. Under acceptable parameters they are quite safe and can be utilized in conjunction with Nitrous oxide to achieve a desirable degree of relaxation during dental procedures.

Oral Sedation


Dr. Nichols is proud to have special credentialing and a permit from The Dental Board of California to provide all 3 levels of sedation allowed in dental practices.  With his advanced training, credentialing and state permit, Dr. Nichols is allowed to expand the use of the first 2 levels and utilize a more effective means of sedating (intravenous) when necessary. As a part of this credentialing he has Advanced Cardiac LIfe Support training used in emergency rooms as well as the equipment and skill to interpret EKG rhythms. Our staff also has extensive training and monitoring skills to ensure the procedure is safe and effective for those who need it.

Dr. Nichols Credentials

ADC Member Organizations

ADC Laguna Beach

We are a comprehensive Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offering a multi-disciplinary approach and a broad

spectrum of services.

We focus on gentle, conscientious and minimally invasive dental care as a means

of improving patient’s overall well being.


Phone Number: (949) 497-3397

Fax Number: (949) 497-0227



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