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Sedation Dentistry: What to Expect at a SW Calgary Dental Clinic

Discover what to expect with sedation dentistry at a SW Calgary dental clinic, ensuring a relaxed experience for your dental procedures.

breathe written on a piece of paper

When getting a dental treatment, you may choose to have sedation, or your dentist might suggest it. A sedation dentist in SW Calgary can help alleviate pain during a procedure like a tooth extraction or root canal. There are many types of sedation available to help ensure your dental experience is a comfortable one. Maybe you are a bundle of nerves and want something to help you cope with dental anxiety. Sedation can calm you down and allow the dentist to get the work done efficiently and effectively.

Sedation vs. Anesthesia at Your SW Calgary Sedation Dentist – The Difference

Many people think sedation and anesthesia are the same thing. While both ease your anxiety and discomfort and are a form of anesthesia, they have one big difference. Sedation puts you into a semi-conscious or unconscious state and is administered by laughing gas, a pill, or an IV. General anesthesia will render you completely unconscious during a treatment and you will not remember what occurred once you wake up.

Your sedation dentist in SW Calgary will explain the procedure before deciding which option will suit your situation. During your consultation, your dental professional will answer any questions you may have and discuss the risks associated with the anesthetic.

woman going through sedation dentistry in SW Calgary

Types of Sedation

There are three types of dental sedation.

1. IV Sedation – A sedative is given to you through an intravenous line directly into your bloodstream. It allows you to be conscious though relaxed. This type of sedative is commonly used for extreme dental anxiety or lengthy procedures. You will need someone to drive you home after IV sedation.

2. Nitrous Oxide – Laughing gas is inhaled through a mask that goes over your mouth and nose, causing you to become drowsy. You will still be aware of what is happening around you. This sedation is used often and wears off quickly. You will be completely safe to drive yourself home after most dental treatments.

3. Oral Sedation – This is administered in the form of a pill which is given to you before your procedure, allowing you to feel calm but remain cognitive. Someone must drive you home after this type of sedation as it takes longer to wear off.


  • General Anesthesia – General anesthesia makes you fall into an unconscious state during your procedure. It can take several hours for it to wear off so you will need someone to drive you and stay with you for a few hours after your treatment. As previously mentioned, you will not remember what occurred at the dentist after waking.

Possible Side Effects of Sedation and Anesthesia

Sedation dentistry lends itself to an easy and quick recovery period. Most side effects will only last a few hours though you may experience the following for the entire day:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sluggishness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

It is important to take care of yourself after any dental treatment so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and rest. If you experience any allergic reaction let your dentist know right away or seek out emergency care if needed. Mild allergies to sedatives are often treated with antihistamines.

Safety and Dental Sedation or General Anesthesia

Though generally completely safe, dental sedation or general anesthesia should not be used for every situation.

  • Children – If you have little ones who need a dental appointment and are thinking about sedation for their treatment, be sure to consult with your dental professional. Though nitrous oxide is one of the safest sedatives for children, your little ones are still growing. This means they are more likely to encounter problems like heart issues or developmental concerns associated with this type of relaxation aid.
  • Pregnancy – Any type of anesthesia can cause birthing problems.
  • Unhealthy – Do you have health complications like heart disease, or have you had a stroke? Issues like these can cause you to run into complications during a dental procedure when sedation is used. Consult with your medical professionals before considering this type of relaxation therapy.
  • Alcohol Consumption – Any amount of alcohol consumed before taking any type of anesthesia can cause issues like a dangerous drop in blood pressure during treatment. The anesthetic could also cease to work at all.

Stay safe and steer clear of dental sedation or general anesthesia if your situation can put you at risk.

Trust at the Dentist

Our dental professionals take every procedure seriously so you can put your trust in us at Glenbrook Dental. We only offer dental sedation or general anesthesia when it is safe and necessary to do so. You can expect to feel confident and comfortable with our sedation dentist in SW Calgary.