Deep Sedation – a drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function may be impaired. Patients may require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation may be inadequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained. Deep Sedation & General Anesthesia requires advanced training and a vigilant, experienced provider focused solely on the patient's well being. Ideally this means the provider is not also focused on trying to perform the actual dental procedure at the same time​

General Anesthesia – a drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function is often impaired. Patients often require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and positive pressure ventilation may be required because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug- induced depression of neuromuscular function. Cardiovascular function may be impaired. General Anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness. General Anesthesia can be considered true "sleep dentistry".


Massachusetts’s dentists who are capable of providing deep sedation and/or general anesthesia have either successfully completed residency training in oral & maxillofacial surgery or formal anesthesia residency training as a dentist anesthesiologist. Board Certification in sedation/anesthesia for Dentist Anesthesiologists is overseen by the American Board of Dental Anesthesiology (www.adba.org).
The National Dental Board of Anesthesia certifies Dentist Anesthesiologists while also including othere dentists interested in advanced levels of sedation/anesthesia such as oral surgeons, periodontists and those who have completed varying degrees of formal anesthesia training. Dentist Anesthesiologists who are Diplomates of The American Dental Board of Anesthesiology (www.adba.org) represent the most highly trained and experienced anesthesia providers in the dental profession.