Sedation Dentistry in Canmore

If you are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety, get in touch with Dr. Grant Moldenhauer & Associates in Canmore. We provide sedation dentistry, an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist. Sedation dentistry process is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit. It is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety, and no pain. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative. Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.

Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:

  Anxiety is alleviated
  Few side effects
  More can be accomplished during each visit
  No needles
  No pain
  Perfectly safe
  Procedures seem to take less time

What Kinds of Sedatives Are Available in Our Practice?

The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. IV sedation and General Anesthetic while not available in our practice are available on a referral basis if desired. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.

Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:
  Nitrous oxide
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood, and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years. Patients can usually leave the office after the termination of the appointment unescorted but occasionally an escort may be necessary so should be available if required.

  Oral conscious sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells, or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.

What Types of Drugs Are Used in Oral Conscious Sedation?

Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia, and seizures. Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time. The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.

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Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:
  Halcion® – Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.
  Ativan® – This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life. Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.


If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, contact us.

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