Options for Nervous Patients

To many people, the mere thought of sitting in a dentist chair is nothing short of terrifying. The fear of dental treatment can be so severe that some may prefer to live with the pain and discomfort of oral inflammation and tooth decay rather than to seek treatment.  

The good news for people who never schedule teeth cleaning and other types of dental treatment out of fear is that sedation dentistry can alleviate anxiety. Sedation is not only reserved for extensive procedures such as root canals, but also routine cleaning and inspections.  

If you are afraid of going to the dentist, you have several sedation options at your disposal.  

Inhaled Minimal Sedation 

This is the lightest form of sedation that many people prefer because it allows them to drive themselves home and continue with their day. This form of sedation is administered by placing a mask over your nose that supplies nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” that helps you to relax. 

When you are under the influence of inhaled minimal sedation, you are conscious, calm, and in control of your cognitive functions.

Oral Sedation 

For minimal to moderate sedation, oral sedation is often the most effective. Minimal oral sedation has the same effect as inhaling nitrous oxide and can be achieved by taking a pill like Halcion an hour before the procedure.  

A larger dosage can result in moderate sedation that can cause you to fall asleep. This is not a deep sleep, however, and the effects will wear off soon after the procedure.  

IV Moderate Sedation 

Intravenous sedation is also a moderate form of sedation that typically works faster than oral or inhaled methods. Like inhaled sedation, the dentist has control over the sedation level.  


Deep sedation with anesthesia will make you partly or entirely unconscious. With this method, it will take some time before the effects of the anesthesia wear off, and you will need someone to drive you home from your appointment. 

Local Anesthetic 

In combination with sedation, you may also need a local anesthetic to numb the area where the dentist is working to relieve pain.  

Is Sedation for Me? 

Sedation alleviates the anxiety that people experience when visiting a dentist and help them care for their teeth. Sedation is also a viable option for people who: 

–    Have sensitive teeth or a low tolerance for pain

–    Need to have a lot of work done

–    Have a bad gag reflex 

If you find that fear of going to the dentist or any of the above conditions keep you away from the dentist and proper dental care, minimal or moderate sedation may be the perfect solution.  

If you have to undergo more severe treatments, such as a tooth removal, consult with your dentist about the possibility and benefits of deep anesthesia. 

In Conclusion 

Generally speaking, sedation is a safe solution to remove anxiety and ensure that you are comfortable, especially if your dentist is experienced in administering sedation.  

Consult with your dentist to determine the sedation option that is the best for you.


Contact Us

Northern Dental Centre
10014 102 Avenue #201
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0Z7


Hours of Operation:
Monday 9:30am-7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am-5:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am-7:00pm
Thursday 8:00am-5:30pm
Friday 8:00am-4:00pm
Open Select Saturdays
Sunday: Closed


Open Select Saturdays

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Dear Patients,

We are pleased to WELCOME YOU BACK! We are practicing SAFE DENTISTRY!

Rest assured that we have taken steps above what was required. After all, your health is our highest priority. We are finally OPEN and look forward to seeing you again soon!


  • When we speak with you regarding your appointment, we will be asking you additional screening questions. Patients who exhibit any symptoms will need to postpone their treatment.
  • When you arrive to your appointment, please wait in your car until your appointment time and bring as little as possible into the office with you.
  • If you have a mask or face covering, we encourage you to wear one to your appointment.
  • We will ask that you sanitize/wash your hands with soap and water upon entering the office and before leaving.
  • There will be a consent form for patients to sign upon arrival and we want you to know that the guidelines in place currently have staff member signing off on a daily consent that ensures they are ready and prepared to provide treatment in the safest possible way.

We want to assure everyone that our office takes the safety and health of our patients, their families, team members and doctors very seriously. Although our operations will be slightly different today than they were previously, we are excited to finally welcome you all back in a slow and safe manner.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of transition to the new normal.

Your Dental Team