The thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair under bright lights with machines whirring around you is a scary experience. Not just kids but adults also admit to having a deep fear of drilling devices in their mouths. If you’ve been avoiding getting even basic treatments like professional cleaning, it’s time to look for solutions. And, sedation dentistry is one of the simplest of them. Talk about the nervousness you feel and ask about the best options available including going into a semi-conscious state during the procedure.

When to Contact a Sedation Dentist in Calgary

If you’re considering opting for sedation dentistry, know that it is important to contact an expert professional. While most dentists have the necessary training to perform basic and moderate sedation, you’ll need a doctor with advanced training for deeper sedation. The doctors at our Calgary sedation dentistry have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program and are experienced in giving anesthesia. Here’s why it is advisable for you:

  • If you cannot take the slightest discomfort and have a low pain tolerance
  • In case you need extensive dental work that could take time to complete
  • If you cannot bear objects in your mouth and have a quick gag reflex
  • In case you have tooth sensitivity because of worn-away enamels
  • If the thought of dental treatments makes you scared and anxious
  • If you’ve had bad experiences with dental procedures in the past, you could face a mental block against the thought of going in for treatment again.
  • In case the size of your mouth is too small and soreness sets in even after a short procedure

Many patients find that the smells and sights of the dentist’s clinic also raise their anxiety levels. If this is you, our experts at the Calgary sedation dentistry can advise you about how to keep you comfortable.

An important factor to remember about sedation dentistry is that sedation only works to keep you relaxed and at ease. Whatever may be the types of sedation used, they don’t act as pain relievers. For this reason, doctors administer an anesthetic along with sedation to help with the discomfort.

Choose Calgary Sedation Dentistry for Kids

If you’ve been looking for a children’s dentistry in Calgary, you’ll need an expert who can work with them. Kids typically cannot sit still in a dentist’s chair, or may not allow the doctor to check their teeth. Sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide is a practical option, and safe for use on kids. If needed, oral medication is also used, and the correct dosage depends on the weight and age of the child.

Levels of Sedation Can Vary According to Your Needs

The level of sedation you need depends on the kind of procedure and the time for which you need pain relief. The nervousness you have during dental treatments can also influence the kind of sedation you’ll need. In addition to putting you to sleep, doctors may apply a topical anesthetic. And, then, inject a local anesthetic along the gum line so you remain comfortable even after waking up. Of course, the sedation dentist in Calgary will give you the injection in the gums only after you’re asleep and unlikely to feel the pain. Local anesthetics work to dull the nerve impulses to the tissues for a short while as the doctor works on them. Here are the main types of sedation you should know about:

Inhaled Sedation

This form of sedation is called inhaled because you’ll breathe in nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas combined with oxygen. Once the gas takes effect, you’ll relax completely and the doctor will control the amount you need. Inhaled gas is a minimal form of sedation dentistry since you’ll remain awake through the procedure. The effects wear off quickly and you can also drive home afterward. Considering that nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless gas with a rare possibility of side effects, most doctors prefer to use the gas for sedating patients.

Oral Sedation

When you schedule an appointment at our Calgary sedation dentistry, you’ll receive directions to take a pill for oral or enteral sedation. The pill typically takes an hour to take effect, so you can take it before arriving for the procedure and have a friend to drive you over to the clinic. Kids may get a syrup to make them sleep. The medication will make you feel drowsy, but aware of the procedure. Usually, patients receive Halcion which is a form of mild sedation.

In case you need moderate sedation, the dosage could be raised. There is a possibility that you’ll fall asleep, but a gentle nudge can wake you so that you’re fully alert. Most patients have mild amnesia and no recollection of the treatment when they wake up. The pill puts them in a semi-conscious state. You can speak but tend to slur over the words. Oral sedation is the best option for people who are nervous about needles and would prefer not to go for IV sedation. But, do avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours afterward. As the sedation dentist in Calgary will explain, this time interval is essential for the effects of the sedative to wear off completely.

IV Sedation

Patients who need moderate or deep sedation dentistry can also opt to receive the drug via an IV drip into the vein. All through the procedure, the dentist can control the level of sedation and keep you comfortable. The drug takes effect quickly. And, while you’ll have some awareness, there are no feelings of discomfort. Patients may need time to recover afterward and it is advisable to have a friend drive you home. In place of a drip, some doctors prefer to give a single injection in the muscles of the upper arm or upper thigh so patients remain sedated. Patients who are not comfortable with receiving injections can opt for getting laughing gas instead.

General Anesthesia

If you need extensive treatment, the doctor may choose to give you general anesthesia. You’ll remain unconscious all through with possibly no recollection afterward. In case you need this form of sedation dentistry, prepare to take some time to recover before leaving the clinic. Again, you’ll request a friend to drive you home while the effects of the anesthetic wear off. Typically, doctors use a combination of laughing gas and IV sedation. You may also need to know that general anesthesia can result in the dulling of your reflexes. At the time of signing up for the procedure, you’ll receive a detailed explanation of what to expect before, during, and afterward.

Assessing Patients as Good Candidates

When discussing the treatment, our sedation dentist in Calgary will assess you carefully as a good candidate. Here’s how:

  • You’ll answer a series of questions regarding your medical history. At times, patients may need to get a go-ahead from their general practitioner so they can get sedation dentistry. In the case of medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory problems, patients may need to get treatment for them before they opt for dental procedures.
  • If you have obstructive sleep apnea and/ or are overweight or obese, sedation dentistry may not be a good option for you.
  • You’ll talk about the prescriptions you’re currently taking. So, the level of sedation is worked out accordingly. Most procedures need you to stop taking any medicines one day before. To make sure you don’t develop any complications, schedule an appointment with the general practitioner, and check if you can safely stop taking the dosage for a day or two. Do put down all kinds of medication you’re taking including vitamins, supplements, and herbal preparations.
  • Your age will also influence the decision about the kind of sedation to give you.
  • In case you have any known allergies, the right kind of sedation is essential to avoid possible reactions.
  • Patients who are pregnant can opt to delay the procedure until after delivering the baby. Unless you need urgent dental care, it is preferable to wait until you enter the second trimester to get treatment.
  • If you smoke or drink excessive alcohol, be sure to answer truthfully. Your recovery can depend on it.

Keep in mind that you’ll remain under close observation all through the procedure. Rest assured that doctors at the Calgary sedation dentistry monitor the patient’s vital signs constantly to prevent any possibility of complications.

Sedation is Essential for Several Kinds of Dental Procedures

Not all dental treatments need sedation dentistry. For instance, unless you suffer from extreme anxiety, doctors perform teeth cleanings, X-rays, and other regular procedures while you’re awake. You’ll need to visit an expert at our Calgary sedation dentistry only in case of treatments that can possibly cause pain. Getting root canals, wisdom tooth removal, and dental implants may cause discomfort and bleeding. For this reason, it is preferable that your pain receptors are dulled for the procedure. Further, if you’re bringing children for a checkup or any other procedure, you may have to sedate them so they allow examinations.

Some Before and After Tips to Keep in Mind

Our sedation dentist at Calgary will give you a list of dos and don’ts to follow before and after your appointment. Understand them carefully so you get the best results from the treatment.

Before the Appointment

  • Don’t eat anything for at least 6 hours before the appointment.
  • Don’t drink anything for at least 2 hours before the appointment. You can only take clear fluids like water, sodas, juices, Gatorade, or any others to stay hydrated.
  • Do wear loose comfortable clothes with layering for cold weather. Doctors may need to attach monitors and IV drips in your arms and legs, so you may want to dress accordingly.
  • Do bring a change of clothes including undergarments in case of accidents.
  • Do remove all jewelry, accessories, hair bands, scrunchies, and hairpins before coming in. If you wear artificial nails, delay getting them until after the procedure.

After the Appointment

  • Do take the day off from work and rest to let the effects of sedation dentistry wear off.
  • Do follow the directions of our sedation dentist in Calgary when resuming eating and drinking. For instance, you’ll start with water and light fluids and move on to semi-solids, gradually.
  • Don’t smoke or take any alcoholic beverages for at least 12 hours after the procedure.
  • Do have a friend or family member stay with you for the rest of the day.
  • Do take all prescribed medications as directed. You’ll need painkillers to help with the pain and discomfort.
  • Do avoid strenuous activity for a couple of days.

Is It Advisable to Get Sedation for Dental Work?

Delaying dental treatment for problems like tooth decay and loosened and broken teeth can lead to bigger problems in the long run. In addition to risking your oral health, you could also develop ailments when dental bacteria make their way to the bloodstream. Not getting dental work when needed can also result in severe pain and lost workdays. On weighing the downsides, you’ll realize that it is preferable to get treatment on time and avoid long-term complications.

If going to a dentist causes severe anxiety, talk to our sedation dentist in Calgary and learn how you can get around the fear. Know that there are several options out there to help you get treatment without the possibility of pain and fear. For further reassurance, ask about the training, certification, and protocols we follow for safety and comfort. Also keep in mind that all through the session, a certified nurse keeps watch on your vitals such as blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels, and heart rate and rhythm.

Contact Our Clinic in Calgary for Sedation Dentistry for More Information

Would you like more information about how sedation dentistry works? You can call us at this number (403) 278-1415 and discuss your needs with one of our associates. Alternatively, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Silver at Southcentre Dental using this form on the Contact Us page. We welcome you to spend some time talking to the doctors and understand how the entire process works. If you need dental treatment, be sure to get it in time. We’ll help you in every way we can.


  1. Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair?
  2. A Guide To Sedation Dentistry 
  3. Anesthesia and Sedation
Jennifer Silver Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Jennifer Silver is a highly accomplished dental surgeon with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her educational accomplishments include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Prior to this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in this field for 10 years.

The areas of dentistry that holds special interest for Dr. Silver include oral medicine and whole-body dentistry. She currently devotes time and resources toward helping patients with TMJ pain and sleep apnea, while continuing to provide general dentistry as well. Future interests include devoting time to additional oral surgery training. Jen strives to treat her patients as if they were family. She strongly believes in a multi-disciplinary approach for patient care. She is part of a large network of specialists that she trusts and collaborates with when helping patients.