What is sedation?
Sedation is the altered state of mind, which is generally more relaxed and less anxious, due to the administration of a sedative drug. We offer intravenous (IV) sedation. This is given by injection, usually in the back of the hand, and makes you feel relaxed and detached from reality (like being in a dream). This is then supplemented with local anaesthesia and allows us to carry out any treatment in a calm and tranquil atmosphere. Another benefit is that the sedative causes some amnesia, so most patients have little recollection, if any, of the treatment they have received.
Can this help me with my fear of the dentist?
Yes. Some people are so frightened of the dentist that they avoid going to the dentist and are afraid of dental treatment. If you are one of those people, sedation can help you overcome your fears. We have been providing this form of treatment for over 30 years and have extensive experience with nervous patients. We understand how difficult it is for you and we are sympathetic about your feelings. As well as a calming manner which instills confidence, we can use sedation to make you feel more comfortable, which enables us to give you the treatment you require.
How will IV sedation in the surgery affect me?
You become drowsy and unaware of any treatment, but you are still able to co-operate with the dentist - it is not a general anaesthetic. The effects of sedation take some time to wear off and it will be several hours before the sedative will be cleared from your system. You won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or operate machinery during this time. You should also avoid making any significant decisions, as your judgement may be impaired. This means you will need to have a responsible adult with you to take you home afterwards, and who can look after you, until you have fully recovered.
What else can help? How does relaxation work?
When we are faced with a challenge or something we’re afraid of, such as a visit to the dentist, our bodies produce substances, which raise our anxiety levels. However, we can train our bodies to work against this anxiety, by learning to relax. It’s not possible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time, so learning relaxation helps control our anxiety. Sometimes, a relaxation tablet can help and these can be taken before coming to the appointment. Although not as profound as IV sedation, it will impair your alertness and, for safety sake, should be treated in much the same as sedation. To find out more, come and talk to us without any obligation.