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Don't let dental anxiety hold you back from good oral health

IV sedation turns fear into a relaxing experience at Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic
Dental anxiety is a common issue among both children and adults.

How did you feel during your last dental visit: nervous, stressed, uncomfortable? Maybe you were triggered by the sight of needles, the drill's high-pitched whine, or the clinic's distinctive smell? If this sounds familiar, you're not alone.

According to Stats Canada, 40% of Canadians strongly fear going to the dentist, and many put off booking their appointment altogether, which can lead to more complex treatment.

Dental anxiety is a common issue among both children and adults, and can be a real barrier to regular checkups and dental procedures. However, there is a dental technique with established efficacy and safety for managing your anxiety and comfort level.

Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic offers intravenous conscious sedation (IV sedation), a safe mild sedative, which helps to calm your nerves, allowing you to relax throughout your treatment.

"IV sedation can be administered for any of our dental procedures," says an office manager at Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic. "However, it's only available for patients over 12-years-old."

"A lot of people have dental anxiety and sedation will help. A patient can request it even if it's not required; we see some patients who won't have their teeth cleaned unless they're sedated."

What to expect with IV sedation

IV sedation is a moderate dosage level that reduces your overall awareness and leaves you feeling completely calm. It's often referred to as twilight sedation/sleep, but you're not actually asleep. Rather, you'll be in a state of deep relaxation where time appears to pass quickly.

"You'll be conscious and compliant, and can take simple instructions from the dentist," explains the office manager. 

"You can hear everything but you won't feel anything, and you won't remember much or anything afterwards. And there are no long-lasting sedative side effects."

During your procedure, the dentist will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels, and your dosage can be adjusted at any point if necessary.

In addition to the dentist, a certified dental assistant, who also has a further qualification as an anesthesiologist, also accompanies the procedure.

"You will be weighed as well, because Midazolam (the drug used to sedate you), is based on your Body Mass Index (BMI)," the office manager says.

After the procedure, you should feel alert, but because you're legally impaired for 24 hours, it's essential a friend or family member escorts you home.

Safety and certificated specialist

You can count on the friendly dental care team. Photo by Alexander Shelegov / Stock Photos / iStock

IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist.

At Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic, Dr. Tyler Duffy, general dentist, and specialist in oral surgery with sedation, is certified from UBC Faculty of Dentistry in oral and nitrous sedation dentistry.

He will provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions and will answer all your questions to determine if IV sedation is right for you.

"IV sedation is covered by the majority of well-known insurance plans," says the office manager.  "Canada Life/Great-West Life, Manulife, Sun Life, and Pacific Blue Cross."

In addition to sedation dentistry, you can count on the friendly dental care team and specialists for comprehensive dental services, from general dentistry, children's dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics, to crowns, implants, root canals and more. Additionally, their staff speaks a combination of 12 different languages.

"As a long-term clinic in the community with long-term providers, it helps distinguish our reputation as a high-quality dental practice that meets and exceeds our patient's needs and expectations," says the office manager.

"We've got generations coming here. My sister, me and our parents are all patients. Our kids are patients, and our grandkids, too. And that's just my family—and that speaks volumes."

Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic is currently welcoming new patients. For more information or to book an appointment, visit or call 604-464-1511.