Sedation

Sedation Dentistry Options for Anxious Patients

Do you “hate needles” or experience anxiety when going to the dentist? If fear or a bad experience in the past has kept you from getting the dental care you need, sedation dentistry may provide the solution you need.

Current River Dental offers a full range of sedation options to our patients. Learn more about how sedation dentistry can transform your next trip to the dentist. Contact us today for more information on sedation dentistry in Thunder Bay.

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If you are anxious about going to the dentist or have a child that feels intimidated when sitting in the dental chair, one of our sedation options can make your visit more comfortable and relaxing.

Are You a Sedation Dentistry Candidate?

Are you nervous of coming to the dentist?
Are you scared of needles or the drill?
Do you have a severe gag reflex?

Did you have a previous bad experience?
Has it been years since you have been to the dentist?
Do you hate going to the dentist?

Current River Dental is a specialty practice offering several options of sedation dentistry. We can provide laughing gas or oral sedation, general anaesthetic for children and IV sedation for adults. You can sleep soundly and be confident that our highly trained staff will complete all the dental treatment you require safely and effectively.

Please call to set up a consultation with Dr. Mason, our Registered Nurse and our Treatment Coordinator to discuss the best option for you.

Consultation Appointment Information

The first step to administering sedation is to determine what level of sedation is right for you so that the optimal treatment can be chosen. Each patient’s dental and sedation needs are unique.

During your consultation, you will speak with:

  • Dr. Mason
  • Our Registered Nurse
  • Our Treatment Coordinator

All aspects of your sedation appointment will be discussed, and any questions you may have will be answered.
The appointment will be approximately 1 hour in length.

Consultation fees are $125 and due on the day of your appointment. If you have dental benefits, we will gladly submit your claim for you. Reimbursement will be made to you directly from your insurance if the company covers the consultation.

Please call to reserve your consultation with our office to discuss the best option for you.

Nitrous Oxide Information

Nitrous oxide (N²O) or "laughing gas" is simply a gas which you can breathe in through a mask over your nose. It has no colour or smell, and doesn't irritate the skin. The amount of laughing gas provided is closely monitored and controlled by the dentist or a registered nurse. Patient comfort and safety are of utmost consideration at all times during the appointment.

Within a few minutes you will begin to relax and may not even recognize minor pain or irritants so that the dentist or hygienist can complete your dental treatment while you are completely comfortable. The effects of the laughing gas go away once the mask is removed and you will be able to drive yourself home and continue with your daily routine.

Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation can also be used similar to Nitrous Oxide to provide light to moderate conscious sedation (awake sedation.) As with Nitrous Oxide, Oral Sedation alleviates the fears and anxiety that can be associated with dental treatment. Oral Sedation is particularly suitable for those patients unable to nose breathe or who simply do not like having the breathing hood on their faces.

The most common medications used for Oral Sedation are Versed for children and Triazolam for adults. In addition to providing relaxation, both drugs also tend to provide an amnesic effect so that patients often don't even remember having treatment performed.

Patients cannot drive themselves home afterwards and will not be able to return to their daily routines for 24 hours.

By combining oral sedatives with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), we can achieve a deeper level of conscious sedation than with either agent alone.

This allows a deeper sense of relaxation and comfort for the more anxious patients, helping to alleviate the sounds, smells, vibrations and feel of needles or other irritants.

The patient's comfort and safety are closely monitored throughout the appointment by one of our Registered Nurses. Patients must have a ride home and will not be able to return to their normal routine for 24 hours.

General Anaesthesia for Kids

General anaesthesia (GA) means being put right to sleep. There is no awareness of the dental treatment and the patient does not remember anything. Dr. Mason is a certified dental Anaesthetist, the only dentist in Thunder Bay licensed to administer this type of anaesthesia. Two Registered Nurses will also be present during the entire appointment.

The patient breathes in a gas through a mask over their face or nose causing them to fall asleep. Once asleep, an intravenous line is established, where additional medications may be administered. The patient is fully monitored during the procedure. Your child will likely be drowsy for the rest of the day and you should plan to have your child rest quietly at home and in the care of a responsible adult for the remainder of the day.

Child receiving sedation dentistry from our dentist in Thunder Bay

IV Sedation for Adults

IV sedation is a very popular choice of sedation for adults who want to be “completely asleep” for treatment. If you do not want to remember anything and have your anxiety significantly reduced, IV sedation could be your best option. Dr. Mason will provide the anaesthesia while our Registered Nurse will monitor your vital signs.

Sedation is achieved by injecting medication into an Intravenous line. With most patients IV sedation induces a very deep sedation and they are completely unaware of treatment being provided.

As with general anaesthesia, patients are carefully and continually monitored throughout the procedure until all treatment is completed and they wake up. After recovering sufficiently, you will be allowed to go home (within 1-2 hours). Patients must have someone to drive them home and should refrain from driving or operating machinery for 24 hours.

Info for Parents

Before your Appointment

Prior to sedation, consent must be signed by a parent or the legal guardian. The child must have a pre-anaesthetic physical within 2 weeks of the appointment done by your family doctor or at a walk-in clinic. Results must be forwarded to our office prior to the appointment date.


Prior to booking an appointment we will require a $200.00 deposit as we typically book extended periods of time and employ additional staff for such appointments. This deposit is applied to your account on the day of your appointment.

If you fail to attend the appointment, you fail to comply with any given instruction, or give us less than 3 full business days’ notice to change your reserved appointment, the deposit will be forfeited. If we must reschedule an appointment because you have allowed your child to eat, the deposit will be forfeited.

If your child develops a cough, fever, cold or runny nose prior to the appointment, call us as soon as possible so that one of our nurses can assess your child. If we feel rescheduling is necessary, your initial payment will be applied to the next appointment without penalty.

Day of Appointment

Dress your child in loose fitting clothing. A change of clothes is recommended as well.

It is essential that your child have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK WITHIN 8 HOURS PRIOR to their appointment. No food or drinks are to be provided within 8 hours before the appointment.

A parent or legal guardian must bring the child to the appointment and remain in our office until treatment has been discussed.

After the Appointment

Once the treatment is complete and the sedation appointment is over, the child will go to the recovery room with the nurse for continued monitoring for at least one hour until the child is ready to go home.


There is occasionally a period of nausea or vomiting and drowsiness after a general anaesthesia. Your child should only be permitted a light meal within the first few hours of leaving our office and should remain supervised by an adult indoors, engaging in quiet activity for the remainder of the day.

Your child should be back to normal the following day. If however he/she develops a fever or other signs of illness within 1-2 days, contact us or your family physician as soon as possible. If neither is reachable, proceed to the hospital without delay.

Info for Adult Patients

CONSENT: We will require you to sign a consent form prior to you receiving any form of sedation.

DIET: If you are scheduled for a morning appointment, have NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT the night before. If you have an afternoon appointment, you must NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING FOR A MINIMUM OF 8 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME unless you have been instructed to take specific medications.


DRESS: Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. No makeup or nail polish.

ACTIVITY: It is absolutely essential to have made arrangements for someone to drive you home after your appointment. We are legally bound not to provide sedation to anyone who does not have someone to take them home and be with them. Your accompaniment does not have to wait for you in the office but may arrive at the end of your appointment.

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