Many people who suffer mild to moderate anxiety find that oral sedation taken during their appointment.

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Is fear keeping you away from the dentist chair? If such is the case, we understand and are here to help.

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Do you find yourself avoiding going to the dentist? Does it make your heart race? Does it bring back terrible memories? If you find yourself agreeing with any of these questions, then sedation dentistry may be a solution you have been looking for. At Woodcreek Dental Care, in SW Calgary, we have been helping patients remain calm and relaxed during dental procedures for many years.

At Woodcreek dental care several types of sedation dentistry. are available. It all depends on your needs.

Inhalation sedation or nitrous oxide is a light or minimal sedation, The gas is breathed through the nose. Typically the effects of nitrous oxide wear off shortly after it is not administered.

Oral sedation is effective for minimal to moderate sedation, depending on the dose. Once our patients have been sedated, they are calm and relaxed, possibly drifting off to sleep. Throughout the procedure, patients are closely monitored.

IV sedation is the most effective form of sedation dentistry. Drugs are administered intravenously. The effects are immediate. The level of sedation is precise, allowing us to have the patient at the correct level of sedation, mild or moderate. the patient often has little or no recollection of the appointment. A responsible adult must accompany you to and from your appointment and you should not be operating a motor vehicle or any type of heavy machinery at least 24 hours after your procedure. resting is extremely important, and you should take the rest of the day after your dental procedure to rest at home and stay hydrated.

Why Use Sedation?

Sedation Dentistry Empowers You to Improve Your Oral Health
When people suffer from anxiety about pain, needles, or any kind of dental work, it makes going to the dentist a challenge. Sometimes patients have phobias that cause the kind of panic and terror that cannot be overcome by willpower alone.

We provide the option of sedation or sleep dentistry at our SW Calgary dental clinic because it is risky to delay having dental work done for any reason. Our goal is to deliver the care you need in a relaxed, non-threatening environment.

Sedation Dentistry is for those patients who

  • Are nervous or anxious when visiting the dentist
  • Can’t deal with pain well
  • Have sensitive teeth
  • Require a significant amount of dental work
  • Struggling from effects from anesthetics  



How Sedation Dentistry Works

We offer different types and levels of sedation, and we always work with you to determine what your specific needs are.

Oral Sedatives
For some of our patients, a prescription for a mild oral sedative taken before the procedure is enough to help them deal with mild anxiety. Together with a local anesthetic to numb the tooth, you will remain relaxed, comfortable, and in control of your movements

More About Oral Sedation Dentistry

Moderate Sedation

For certain procedures, we offer the possibility of nitrous oxide in addition to using a local anesthetic. This breathable gas is mixed with oxygen and is inhaled through a mask that covers the nose. Nitrous oxide helps you relax and feel calm while dental work is taking place.

For patients who are dealing with severe worry or phobias, IV sedation may be appropriate. It allows you to sleep through the procedure — and your anxiety.

More About Sedation in Our Calgary Dental Blog

Drugs Used in Oral Sedation Dentistry
Your dentist has a number of drug options to choose from if you require oral sedation for your appointment. These drugs include … Read the article – Drugs Used in Oral Sedation Dentistry

Dentistry – 7 Myths About Sedation
Some forms of sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide, have helped better patients’ experiences in their dentists’ chairs since the 1800s. But some patients avoid talking to their dentist about it due to one of these 7 misconceptions. Read the article – 7 Myths About Sedation

Sedation Dentistry for Children?
When it comes to prescribing sedatives for children, most parents are understandably a little bit cautious. However, when properly administered for dental surgery, not only are sedatives completely safe even for children, they often make dental operations safer. Read the article – Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?
Sedation dentistry can help patients feel much more relaxed during dental work. Many people fear dental procedures. They worry about the discomfort and pain they might feel during the procedure. Some people have high general anxiety, which is heightened further when they are in a dental chair. Some people have a fear of sitting in the dentist’s chair, whether it’s for an important dental procedure or just a teeth cleaning. Read the article – Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You??

How to prepare for your initial consultation with the Dentist to discuss the benefits of Oral or IV sedation
We will gather information regarding your health, and discuss your needs. If you are comfortable, we will take x-rays and discuss your dental needs. It is critical that you provide our dental team with an updated health history.When you and your dentist decide on the method of sedation for your upcoming appointment, you will need to make some preparations. Read the article – How to prepare for your initial consultation with the Dentist for Oral or IV sedation

Sedation Dentistry FAQ

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of sedatives, inhalation, oral or intravenous to achieve a level of stress-free comfort and lack of anxiety for the patient. It is especially effective for people who have extreme dental phobias. Most patients report little to no memory of their appointment. Sedation dentistry is also effective for long dental appointments, complex dental treatment, people who have trouble sitting still, and people who have a high gag reflex.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation dentistry is considered a safe procedure As with any form of treatment or procedure there is some risk. It all starts with finding a qualified dentist and an approved licensed office. A medical history and evaluation are very important. Medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and severe sleep apnea are important to know. During your appointment, when you are undergoing sedation, you are closely monitored to assure a safe procedure to prevent any complications that could arise. your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure are but some of the vital signs monitored.

To find out more and if sedation dentistry is right for you, please contact Dr. Bruce Hartley at Woodcreek Dental care at or 403-238-2872.

What medications are used in sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can be divided into three categories; inhalation, oral and iv sedation. For inhalation sedation, a gas mixture of nitrous oxide( laughing gas) and oxygen is used. It is delivered to a patient via a nasal cannula or mask. The concentration of nitrous oxide can be controlled to achieve the optimum mild sedation. Moderate sedation can not be achieved with this technique. For oral sedation, a pill is taken. Benzodiazepines are commonly used. They are, diazepam ( valium), triazolam, and lorazepam ( Ativan). Though they are in the same family of drugs, they each have specific qualities the optimum one is used depending on the patient’s needs. A minimal to moderate level of sedation can be achieved.

For IV sedation, an intravenous line has placed The medications used for this technique are midazolam and or fentanyl. The effects are immediate. The level of sedation is precisely controlled. Typically the patient has no recollection of the appointment.

How long does it take to work?

Nitrous oxide or inhalation sedation, the effects start as soon as the patient is breathing the nasal mask. It takes a few minutes for the effect of nitrous oxide to relax the patient. When the patient stops breathing the nitrous, the effects wear off within minutes. There are no after-effects and patients can be dismissed and leave on their own. Oral sedation relies on the uptake of a pill absorbed through the patient’s stomach and intestinal tract. This can take up to an hour to reach optimum effect. For this reason, oral sedation is not a precise technique. IV sedation, the effects are immediate. The medications are titrated to achieve optimal sedation. Patients are often groggy after their appointment and need to be accompanied by an adult when dismissed from their appointment.

Do all dental offices offer sedation dentistry?

No. The licensing requirements are specific. A dentist must have completed extensive training in order to perform sedation dentistry. An office has to be approved and registered with the licensing body. The office needs to be equipped with and has specially trained staff.

Is it safe for me to drive after sedation dentistry?

Depends on the type of sedation. It is safe after using nitrous oxide. For oral and IV sedation the effects of the drugs wear off slowly so the patient must be accompanied by an adult following the appointment.

Who is a candidate for sedation?

Candidates can be divided into two groups. Patients with fear, nervousness, anxiety, or phobias, will find sedation dentistry a wonderful experience. Many medical conditions, ie high blood pressure, inability to hold their mouth open for prolonged periods, high gag reflex, will find sedation very helpful. Secondly, certain procedures, ie wisdom teeth removal, placement of the implant(s), it is best for a patient to be sedated. Also, prolonged procedures or extensive treatment requiring long appointments can be done with fewer appointments and far more comfortable for the patient.

Why should I consider sedation dentistry?

If you are fearful of the dentist, sedation dentistry offers the opportunity to get the dental care you need without concern for the pain, unpleasant sounds, or other distractions that are causing you to procrastinate.