Sedated dental patient receiving care

Sedation Dentistry

Feelings of anxiety surrounding the dentist are common, but this shouldn't keep you from receiving the dental care you need.

Fortunately, sedation dentistry makes dental work easier by calming the nerves and allowing you to relax during treatment.

See how Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, TX, can maximize your comfort during dental procedures with sedation dentistry...

Is Sedation Right for Me?

To determine if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry, Dr. Heard will carefully review your medical history. Certain conditions, such as sleep apnea, respiratory illness, and heart problems, may affect your eligibility and should be discussed with your doctor. Sedation benefits patients who:

  • Need extensive dental work
  • Have anxiety or phobias about dental procedures
  • Experience a strong gag response
  • Have a low tolerance for pain
  • Have high sensitivity
  • Have certain medical conditions
  • Have trouble sitting still

We Prioritize Comfort At Gulf Coast Periodontics

Gulf Coast Periodontics has been offering the residents of Victoria, TX, and beyond access to quality periodontal care since 2003. From diagnosing gum disease to restoring the tooth loss it may have caused, Dr. Rick Heard offers comprehensive care to improve the health of the gums and mouth.

Our sedation techniques, combined with Dr. Heard's compassionate dental care, offer patients a more comfortable and positive experience. To request a consultation or inquire about our dental services, fill out our contact form or call our Victoria, TX, office:

(361) 573-1014

Our team is dedicated to your wellbeing and strives to make every dental visit pleasant and relaxing.

"You'll be in good hands..."


Elizabeth Cheng


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Dr. Heard is so caring, professional and very knowledgeable. I had a gum grafting surgery with sedation and I never felt any pain during or afterwards. Wonderful care and results! You'll be in good hands here. I drove 2 hours to come here!

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Sonya Holesovsky


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Thank you! Everyone at Gulf Coast Periodontics are just the BEST! Taking care of everyone is a priority, that's OBVIOUS from the time you arrive - until you are out the door! I appreciate the extra care and my expectations are always met and surpassed from the front desk to the fabulous Dr. Heard.

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Our Sedation Options

By offering a full suite of sedation options, we can tailor our sedation technique to your unique needs. Our heartfelt goal is to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible so that you will never again hesitate to get the care you need.
Patient with nitrous oxide

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly knowns as laughing gas, is administered through a nasal mask and inhaled by patients throughout their procedure. It results in a state of relaxation, numbness, and euphoria. The laughing gas wears off quickly, allowing many patients to feel comfortable enough to drive themselves home after treatment. Nitrous oxide is the lightest level of sedation available and may not be the best option for patients who require extensive treatment.

IV pouch

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

Gulf Coast Periodontics primarily provides intravenous sedation, as it is consistently dependable and effective. IV sedation is a moderate sedative, which means you can experience deep relaxation throughout your procedure. This type of sedation is optimal for our dental services, as our anesthesiologist can easily adjust it throughout your treatment to maximize your comfort. It's administered directly into the bloodstream, so it takes effect quickly.

Sedative pills

Oral Conscious Sedation

If you choose oral sedation, you will take prescription medication about an hour before your procedure. Like IV sedation, the medication you take for oral sedation won't cause you to lose consciousness but will allow you to achieve deep relaxation and make your dental treatment a comfortable experience.

Though the effects of sedation dentistry vary from patient to patient, many patients report having little to no memory of their dental procedure. Depending on the type of sedation you choose, it may take up to eight hours for the effects to wear off.

Before & After Sedation Tips

Before Your Appointment

Before receiving sedation at our Victoria, TX, office, Dr. Heard may advise you to forgo eating and drinking for several hours. You may also have to avoid taking certain medications. If you're receiving oral conscious sedation, he will provide instructions about when to take your medication. He will also advise you to have a friend or family member drive you to your appointment since the pills will impair your driving.

After Your Appointment

Sedation techniques like IV sedation and oral conscious sedation can cause you to feel their effects for several hours following your appointment. Because of this, you may have to schedule someone to drive you home after your procedure. Be prepared to spend the rest of your day relaxing. You should be able to return to your normal activities by the following morning.

Our Board-Certified Anesthesiologists

To ensure our patients' safety, Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, TX, works with board-certified anesthesiologists from South Texas Anesthesia Group. Dr. Derrick Garrett and Dr. Steven Janececk are two trusted anesthesiologists who have assisted with our dental services for over four years. An anesthesiologist will be present for the duration of your procedure to monitor your health so your periodontist can focus on your dental care.

Why Choose Dr. Heard?

Dr. Heard has big-time credentials but offers residents of Victoria and nearby Texas communities the small-town friendliness that makes them feel at home. He comes by that honestly. Dr. Heard was born and raised here and many of his patients are people that he has known his whole life. What keeps patients tethered to Gulf Coast Periodontics?

McGuire Institute Involvement

Dr. Heard is a member of The McGuire Institute™, an organization that is dedicated to the development and improvement of the dental industry. Dr. Heard is a board member of the institute, which is recognized for its evidence-based clinical research in the field of dentistry. Our patients reap the benefits of Dr. Heard's involvement in cutting-edge research.

Calm, Friendly Atmosphere

Gulf Coast Periodontics prides itself on its warm and cozy office. With amenities like comfortable loveseats, coffee, and Wi-Fi, our office feels more like coming home than visiting a dentist.

Understanding Staff

Dr. Heard understands that many patients have dental anxiety. That is why he takes the time to thoroughly explain treatment options and review each step of your procedure. Everyone on our team strives to offer a concierge level of care. Our patients feel comfortable asking any questions they have because they know they will get a caring and compassionate answer.

Are You Concerned About Costs?

While most insurance does not cover sedation dentistry, we help manage out-of-pocket expenses with flexible financing through CareCredit®. We're happy to answer your questions. Leave our Victoria practice a message if you would like more information.

We Coordinate With General Dentists

Unlike a general dentist, Dr. Heard has studied periodontics and implantology extensively, making him a good choice when you need periodontal care or dental implants. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Dr. Heard can coordinate care with your dentist so you can receive the periodontal care you need while your dentist provides general dentistry services.

See More 5-Star Reviews...


Ann M.


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Very well informed on what they are going to do and how much it will cost up front... the doctor called after procedure and checked on me and went over what was done again when I was not so groggy. Very much recommend this doctor and his staff!

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Victoria Newton


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Dr. Rick Heard is amazing! He also has a wonderful staff! He did a great job on some surgeries I had to have! Makes u feel at home and not in a dentist office! Would recommend anyone I know to go to see him! Thank you Dr. Rick!

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Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The McGuire Institute

Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

Message Our Staff

After multiple years of avoiding a dental issue, I visited Dr. Heard. In a short period of time, I went from what I thought was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a full understanding of my procedure, the timeline, and even exact costs.

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