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Oral Sedation in NW, Calgary

Visiting the dentist is a nerve-wracking experience for a lot of people. Add on top of that the possibility of a potentially uncomfortable procedure, and it only makes the whole thing feel worse. 

At Valley Ridge Dental, we completely understand this, which is why we make sure you feel at ease, even during potentially daunting procedures. 

At our dentistry, we offer oral sedation, which is a great solution for anyone afraid of a dentist visit. Not to be confused with anaesthetic, oral sedation is a much simpler way of easing nerves without rendering you unconscious. 

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding oral sedation, along with our answers. 

What is oral sedation? 

Let’s start with the basics. Oral sedation is the process of administering sedative medication orally, meaning via the mouth. In more simple terms, the patient swallows a pill that reduces symptoms of anxiety during your appointment. 

Sometimes also known as conscious sedation, oral sedation is far less intensive than undergoing anaesthetic, as you are kept awake throughout the process. Oral sedation falls into the category of ‘minimal sedation’. You are fully awake, but in a subdued state. Because a procedure dentistry can be anxiety-inducing for so many, this is a popular method to ensure that every procedure is a success.

Inhalation sedation is a similar process to oral sedation in how it’s administered. It is also popularly used to calm patients during an appointment. Both of these options can achieve minimal to moderate sedation, depending entirely on the patient’s needs. 

If you have any concerns about which sedation option is the most appropriate for you, our qualified dentists will be happy to advise you! 

What sort of medication is most commonly used? 

If you have any concerns about the medication that may be used during oral sedation, we’ve provided a full breakdown below of the most common medications used in dentistry to achieve oral sedation. To prevent any interactions with medication you may already be using, always communicate any hesitations you may have before an appointment and our dentists can adjust to your needs accordingly. 

Here are some of the medications used most often in oral sedation: 

  • Valium (Diazepam) – Easily one of the most recognisable on the list, Valium has been around since the 1960s, and in dentistry is most often used in procedures that take up more time due to its longer half-life (how long it takes for the medication to reduce its concentration in the body by half).
  • Halcion (Triazolam) – Though more often used as a form of insomnia treatment, Halcion is also frequently used as an oral sedative in dental practices.
  • Ativan (Lorazepam) – A form of anti-anxiety medication with a medium length half-life, Ativan is often used in dentistry appointments that extend over two hours.
  • Vistaril (Hydroxyzine) – Though officially classified as an antihistamine, Vistaril is also used as an oral sedative and is popular due to its lack of amnesiac properties.
  • Versed (Midazolam) – With one of the shortest half-lives of the medications mentioned, Versed is particularly useful for shorter appointments that may last just an hour.

How does it work? 

Oral sedatives suppress the central nervous system to place you in a calmer and more comfortable state. 

Oral sedatives are usually administered shortly before the procedure is due to take place. However, sometimes they can be taken as early as the day preceding your appointment to preemptively alleviate any anxiety. 

The way oral sedatives work varies based on which specific drug you are going to take before your procedure. Our qualified dentists will always provide you with a full explanation on what is being administered to you before the appointment begins. 

Does it have any side-effects? 

The practice of oral sedation is completely safe, but there are certain side-effects you may experience from being orally sedated that you should be aware of before proceeding. These can include: 

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness (so it’s important you are driven to and from the dental practice by someone else)
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches 

These potential side-effects have to be pointed out, but it is also important to note that most patients report no experience of them and find the process of oral sedation to be a smooth one. 

Other services provided by Valley Ridge Dental 

We offer an enormous range of services at Valley Ridge Dental, all provided by our qualified and professional dentist staff. Some of the following are procedures that may require oral sedation if necessary:

Each appointment is personal, and we strive to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible when they’re with us. 

We are more than happy to discuss whether this method of sedation is best for your anxiety. Contact us today on (403) 202-2266 to learn more about how we can help you decide. We’re always willing to answer any questions you may have!

Contact Us

Valley Ridge Dental Centre
11245 Valley Ridge Dr Suite 204
Calgary, AB T3B 5V4


Hours of Operation:
Mon: 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wed: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday: 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Have questions or want to schedule an appointment?





11245 Valley Ridge Dr Suite 204 NW, Calgary, AB T3B 5V4, Canada

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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