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You don’t have to be a scaredy-cat anymore! We know how to make your dental visit stress-free – get the facts about dental sedation!

December 8th, 2018

Being afraid of the dentist is common – you’re not alone! In fact, 40 per cent of the Canadian population avoids dental care because they’re afraid! Unfortunately, this fear can also be transmitted from parent to child, and can lead to bigger problems down the road for your dental health that you won’t be able to avoid!

At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, you don’t have to be a scaredy-cat any more! We offer various options of sedation to help ease anxious patients. Here’s the 411 on the sedation options we offer.

Nitrous oxide

Also known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide does not put patients to sleep. Rather it is used as a relaxant that allows patients to receive their dental treatment with ease. Patients simply breathe in the gas through a tube that is placed over their nose and in a few minutes, they are able to feel comfortable and relaxed. At the end of treatment, the gas is reversed, and patients are dismissed once they are fully cognitive. Patients are able to drive themselves home safely as there are no lingering effects.

One of the most frequent applications of nitrous gas is for young children. Children often have fears about the unknown and their anxieties can consume them when it comes to dental treatment. Laughing gas allows them to relax, listen and learn. With both adults and children, we find that over a number of appointments with us patients become more confident and ultimately will no longer require nitrous sedation to complete their dental treatment!

Oral Sedation

Also known as “conscious sedation” this type of dentistry may benefit patients who have higher levels of anxiety. Before a procedure, patients take a prescribed dose of sedative as directed by their dentist, which may be a pill the night before or an hour before the procedure, depending on the case. Even though patients are awake during the procedure, most patients remember nothing or very little and will feel sleepy afterwards and will need to ensure they have someone who can drive them home. The effects will have worn off by the next day.

IV Sedation

There are a few variations of IV sedation. “Twilight” is where the patient is conscious but not aware of the surroundings. This type of sedation makes patients feel sleepy and they may not remember any of the procedure. Patients, however, are not unconscious, and a dentist is able to wake them up if needed.

General sedation is the other option though it is more uncommon for dental procedures. It is used for patients undergoing significant oral surgery or who are resistant to other types of sedation. This type of sedation makes the patient unconscious and needs to happen in a hospital or a specialized clinic with a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist to administer the sedative and monitor the patient’s vital signs.

Speak With Your Dentist

Always speak with your dentist before a procedure appointment to discuss any concerns you may have. Other options are also available for extremely anxious patients and your dentist will be able to recommend the type of sedation that will help in your specific case.

If you would like to learn more about the dental sedation we offer, or if you’re considering becoming a patient at Cornerstone Family Dentistry we would love to chat with you! We are always accepting new patients. Give us a call at 705-749-0133 or send us an email at

Posted in Children's Dentistry, Dental Care, Dental Services