It is not uncommon for people to be anxious about dental treatment; however, anxiety or dental phobia can lead to dental neglect or total avoidance of dental care which can have detrimental long and short-term effects.
Dentistry in the 21st century is quite advanced and we have got plenty of techniques to make the dental procedure very easy, comfortable and pleasant for you.
One of these techniques is called Conscious Sedation which involves the use of medication to help the patient relax during dental procedures. It is a safe, effective and valuable tool in the management of a patient’s anxiety. It produces a state of deep relaxation and feeling of not being bothered about what’s going on, patients will still be awake and verbal contact with the patient is maintained throughout the period of sedation.
There are different kinds of sedation techniques which are available depending on the route through which the drug is administered in your body. These are:
- Oral Sedation- Patient will take a sedative drug/pill an hour before the dental procedure or the night before the scheduled appointment, these pills act on a part of the brain which is responsible for fear and anxiety. The result is a very relaxed and calm mood that will allow your dentist to effectively do what they’re supposed to. It is useful in cases of mild to moderate anxiety.
- Inhalation Sedation: It involves using a mixture of gas (nitrous oxide) and oxygen which is breathed in using a nose mask. This mixture of gases will make you feel drowsy and relaxed whilst the procedure is carried out. You will be awake and will still be able to communicate verbally with the dentist.
- Intravenous Sedation: In intravenous Sedation, the sedative drug is given by injection into a vein (intravenous) in the arm or back of the hand. The patient will be fully awake and will be able to make verbal contact however the drug will make patients feel more relaxed and less anxious. Patients will remember little or nothing about the procedure and this will enable the clinician to undertake the procedure with greater ease and safety.
Sedation is not an anaesthetic so you will still require a local anaesthetic agent to numb the area so that you do not feel any pain.
Following the treatment patient will be required to stay at the hospital until the clinician is satisfied that the patient is well enough to be accompanied home. For 24 hours after the procedure, patient’s coordination skills will be affected and they should not undertake skilled tasks like driving or riding a bike, operate any machinery or signing any legally binding documents for 24 hours or until fully recovered. Also, you need to avoid consuming alcohol or any sedative drugs and climbing heights (like scaffolding or ladders etc)
If you are interested in having dental treatment under sedation, please get in touch with one of our friendly team who would be happy to book you an appointment for an assessment with one of our expert dentist.