FAQs (Please have a read)
Is the dentistry totally free for volunteer patients?
All assessments including X-Rays along with all treatments are absolutely free for the volunteer patients.
Where in Vancouver will the treatment appointments be held?
The initial assessment appointment along with any treatment appointment(s) are held at the practice of Dr. Trevor Shew, one of our instructors, Broadway Station Dental Centre, 2495 Commercial Dr., in Vancouver
What dates do I have to commit to?
The assessment examination appointment is being held on September 30th, 2023. You must be available to come in for a short appointment (30 minutes) between 10 am and 5 pm on that date to see waht dental treatment you will need.
After that appointment you are booked in for one or more treatment appointments in November. These appointments are available between 8 am and 5 pm on November 17, 18, and 19th, 2023 only.
Are these dental students who will do the dentistry?
The individuals who are doing the sedation and dentistry are already practicing general dentists, most with extensive experience. They are in the course to learn moderate IV sedation. Dental students are never part of our courses as the training is for post-graduate dentists.
What is moderate IV sedation?
Medications can be delivered to a patient by a variety of routes; oral, intramuscular, subcutaneously, and intravenously. Intravenous (IV) is the safest and most reliable route to give sedation to a patient especially when you want to adjust or titrate the medication to a very specific sedation level. Sedation is categorized into different depths or levels. Moderate sedation is defined as the following;
“Moderate (Conscious) Sedation, is a drug induced depression of consciousness. The patient maintains the ability to respond purposely to verbal direction either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation.”
In moderate sedation you can open your eyes and talk and follow instructions that the dentist gives you. A gentle shake and the saying of your name will bring you into a more awake state momentarily. You will not do anything you do not want to. The advantage of getting sedation is the removal of anxiety and most often amnesia, the inability to remember the treatment appointment.
What medications will I be given?
The main medication that is used by general dentists in BC for moderate IV sedation is a drug called midazolam which is similar to valium but much shorter acting. It decreases anxiety and can provide amnesia also. It has been used in sedation since the 1980s and has a very safe profile. It is also nonaddictive when used in this type of situation.
How do I get home after being sedated?
For each sedation appointment you must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can take you home afterwards. This is a legal requirement when giving a patient this level of sedation.
Will I be put to sleep?
People often feel like they were put to sleep during moderate sedation, but this is not true. Most patients experience some level of amnesia when sedated with midazolam, so they often confuse that with being “knocked out” or “put to sleep”. You are very responsive throughout the dental procedure and can follow -commands.
Will I remember my appointment?
Often patients will experience some level of amnesia when undergoing moderate IV sedation. It depends on the dosing and the individual patient response. Sometimes you cannot remember the dental visit at all, but this cannot be guaranteed.
Are there any safety issues to worry about?
The proper use of midazolam in a professional medical/dental setting has been proven to be very safe. The faculty that oversee the dentists in our course includes emergency physicians, anaesthesiologists, paramedics, critical care RNs, and dentists with extensive experience in sedation. We far exceed all provincial guidelines for sedation in the level of patient monitoring we do, our staffing, our training, and for the equipment we have for emergencies, as unlikely as those are to occur. We have a perfect safety record in the program after having sedated more than 450 patients to date.
Can I have extensive dental procedures done like root canals or dental implants?
The cases that the dentists must complete to graduate from this course cannot take longer than 60-90 minutes to complete so this rules out more complex procedures being undertaken. The patient must be able to also have all of the needed dentistry done in the one visit so procedures that take repeat visits like a crown cannot be done. Basic tooth extractions, fillings, and hygiene cleanings are what is completed for most volunteers.
Can I come in for more than one visit and can I come back next year?
You can have more than one treatment appointment if needed. You are also welcomed to apply as a volunteer for any of our yearly sedation courses. Many of our volunteers come back yearly for their dental care.
Volunteer Patient Initial Contact Form
Enter your details and we will email you a confidential medical questionnaire which is the first step in the volunteering process. Once you return the form to us by we will then book your initial dental examination.