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Sedation Dentistry

A significant number of Canadians do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety.  Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.

At Riverside Dental Clinic, Dr. Kevin Zhang is certified to provide general dentistry under oral sedation to those who need it. Also, Dr. Poznikoff provides children and adults' general dentistry under general anesthetic at the Drumheller Hospital.  

For oral surgery such as wisdom tooth removal, implant placement, and full mouth extractions, Dr. Ben Kang and Dr. Lee Darichuk, certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons, provide services under IV conscious sedation.

Sedation dentistry 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, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.

Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety and no pain.  Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards.  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?

Types of dental sedatives available from the dentists at Riverside Dental Clinic are, oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia (at the Drumheller Hospital).  Different levels of sedation can be utilized depending on individual needs.  Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, taking note of any current medications.

Here is an overview of the types of dental sedatives we use:

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation.  Patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure.  Generally, IV sedation is used for shorter treatments.  It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate.  Sometimes patients feel groggy and sleepy when the IV sedatives are withdrawn.  This is why it is important to bring a designated driver for the drive home.

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.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a form of sedation that is administered at the Drumheller Hospital by an Anesthetist. Patients are put into a deep sleep in the O.R. and have all necessary treatment completed in one appointment. General Anesthesia is ideal for children's dentistry and other lengthy procedures. General anesthesia is also used for patients who have allergies or intolerances to oral or IV sedation drugs, or medical conditions preventing them from having treatment completed in the dental practice.

If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please contact our office.