Sleep & Sedation Dentistry

While we work hard at Dawson to foster a calming environment led by expert dental teams, fear of the dentist is common and completely normal. Our patients, family members, and even some of our team members experience some form of dental anxiety. We are here to tell you, we understand, and we want to help! That’s why we offer varying levels of sedation to appropriately address your level of concern; from light nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to general anesthesia, we’ve got you covered.

Each year, millions of people avoid necessary dental care due to dental fear. In doing so, they sacrifice their dental health, and minor problems rapidly become major ones. We never want anyone to neglect their dental health due to dental anxiety so we offer options that will alleviate any discomfort and may even reduce the number of visits required to complete your dentistry.

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Why Sedation Dentistry

The beauty about the way we administer sedation dentistry is it can safely be used for nearly all dental procedures from cleanings and fillings to root canals and extractions. If you are having a procedure and would like sedation dentistry, we will gladly go over the options with you.


Nitrous oxide (Laughing gas)

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 discomfort 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.

Light oral sedation

This type of sedation produces feelings of relaxation and drowsiness but does not cause the patient to become unconscious.  Dentists will prescribe oral sedatives, which are pills or a liquid form, that are to be taken orally before your dental procedure.

Moderate sedation (Twilight Sedation)

This type of anesthesia makes patients feel sleepy, calm, and very relaxed.  A small, mild, dose of a general anesthetic drug is given, and the patient remains conscious throughout the procedure.  The patient is aware of their surroundings but not sensitive to sounds or smells.  Patients do not feel any stress, anxiety or pain or recall any of the work that was performed and will be able to follow simple directions if needed and able to communicate.  This type of sedation has a fast recovery time and allows you to remain conscious. It is suitable for patients that have a strong gag reflex, anxiety, difficulty keeping their mouth open and require a significant amount of treatment.  Some common treatments it is used for are extractions/wisdom teeth removal, dental implant surgery, root canal treatment, and veneer preparation.

Deep sedation (IV Sedation)

Deep sedation is like moderate (twilight) sedation in that you feel sleepy but, in this case, you will fall asleep. You are not totally unconscious, but it would be harder to arouse you. You do not respond to verbal and physical stimulation as readily as moderate sedation and will have little memory of the procedure. This is usually recommended for more complex oral surgery procedures such as difficult extractions, or if you have a significant dental phobia or are very anxious.

General anesthesia (Fully asleep)

For patients with extreme dental anxiety, strong gag reflexes, young children, or who require extensive treatment, this is the deepest level of sedation. During the procedure, the patient will be in a state of unconsciousness or fully “asleep”.  This type of sedation must be requested in advance of the appointment as it needs to be administered by an anesthesiologist.

Book Your Free Consultation

We invite you to book a complimentary consultation so we can better understand your dental concerns, discuss the available treatment options and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you!