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Stress Free Dental Sedation for Anxious Patients

Dental sedation for anxious patientsAnxiety

We are aware of the general anxiety some people have towards dentists (apparently about 90% of the UK population). As such, sufficient time will be booked out to explain all options to you in detail and answer any questions. If you wish we can discuss past problems, in a relaxed atmosphere in surgery or by phone initially prior to an appointment.

Surface / topical anaesthetic (spray/ gel) can be used after which special long acting local anaesthetics will help to ensure complete numbness (essential for patient comfort). Topical anaesthetics can be used before de-scale and polishes to help reduce any sensitivity without the need for an injection. In this way we believe we can also help new patients to regain some confidence in modern dentistry.

Inhalation sedation is available and each dental surgeon who works at this practice has carries out several thousand problem-free sedation procedures. So you are in good, experienced hands with a perfect track record.

Music can be provided via headphones to give you a pleasing distraction during treatment and is especially effective when used to complement sedation. You can choose from our CD selection, bring your own CD or perhaps your own MP3 player.

Inhalation Sedation

This is a form of sedation which allows you to remain fully conscious (avoiding the problems associated with general anaesthetics). This sedation technique involves breathing in a mixture of Oxygen (O2) and Nitrous oxide (N2O) which is colourless, sweet-smelling, and non-irritating. Inhalation Sedation goes by a number of other names, laughing gas, RA, happy gas, gas, nitrous, nitrous oxide and has been described as "representing the most nearly 'ideal' clinical sedative circumstance"...

How does it work?

It very rapidly reaches the brain, then relaxation and pain-killing properties develop after 2 or 3 minutes.

The depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment (calibration / titration), allowing the person who administers the gas to increase or decrease the depth of sedation. Other sedation techniques don't allow for this. For example, with IV (intra venous) sedation, it's easy to deepen the level of sedation, but difficult to lessen it, whereas with Nitrous oxide (N2O), the effects are almost instant.

Other sedation techniques have a fixed duration of action (the effects of pills or intravenous drugs last for a specific time span). Relative Analgesia Sedation can be given for the exact time span it's needed for. It can also be switched off when not needed and then switched back on again.

There is no "hangover effect” as the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. As a precaution we advise all patients to wait at the surgery for ~20 minutes after treatment then they are safe to drive (with no escort required).

Unlike IV sedation, no injection in the arm is required. In cases of very severe needle phobia, receiving  Inhalation Sedation first can help you feel relaxed enough to allow the acceptance of local anaesthetic, especially when a surface anaesthetic is used to numb the area first.

Inhalation sedation is very safe with very few side effects and the drugs used have no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain.

For certain procedures, especially those involving soft tissues (e. g. deep cleaning), inhalation sedation may be used instead of local anaesthesia. N2O acts as a mild painkiller.

Inhalation sedation has been found to be very effective in gradually eliminating or controlling severe gag reflexes.

Precautions / Advice

If you're prone to nausea, it's a good idea to have a small meal about 4 hours before your appointment. If that is not possible (e.g. an early morning appointment), make sure your stomach isn't completely empty.

Some people are initially anxious regarding sedation however continuous monitoring by the dentist usually ensures gradual acceptance and in some cases insistence.

Please Note: Sedation levels can reversed almost immediately

What is the sedation experience like?

This depends on the concentration and length of administration of the Sedation. Most people describe the experience as an initial feeling of light-headedness with a tingling sensation, especially in the arms and legs, followed by warm sensations and a feeling of well-being, euphoria and/or floating ("drift").

We carefully calibrated and continuously monitor the levels for each patient, perhaps with no treatment initially to promote confidence.

Please Note: This is not a General Anaesthetic.

 

Patient Confidentiality

As a healthcare provider we hold medical information. We are bound by the same confidentiality laws as the medical profession. All our staff members, as part of their contract are bound by the same laws.

Safety Control

This practice believes that sterilisation and general cleanliness is of paramount importance.

Refreshments include tea, coffee and fruit cordial which are provided throughout the day for patients guests in reception. All our surgeries are climate controlled / air conditioned for your comfort.

 

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