All about Sedation

All about Sedation
Help for Nervous Patients

Help for Nervous Patients

Being ‘afraid of the dentist’ means different things to different people. Some people have specific fears about certain types of treatment or pain, or have had bad experiences in the past, others find the sounds and smells upsetting and others worry about stories they’ve heard from friends and family.

The good news is that the dentists at Bedford Dental Surgery understand patients’ fears and can do a great deal to make dental treatment an acceptable, normal part of life. We know that nervous patients above all want to be listened to and not rushed. We take our time and explain all aspects of suggested treatment.

In addition we offer sedation for patients who prefer not to fully experience some dental treatments. If you are looking for safe and effective dental sedation then our specialist sedation team can help you relax.

Types of sedation:

We are able to offer two types of sedation; Intravenous sedation and Inhalation sedation. In Intravenous sedation, a cannula is inserted into a vein and a drug or a combination of drugs are given to sedate the patient. In Inhalation sedation, a mask is placed over the nose and a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen is given, which makes the patient feel relaxed.  Your Dentist will be able to discuss the options with you in more detail.

Sedation FAQs

What is the difference between General Anaesthetic and Sedation?

In the past, general anaesthesia was frequently prescribed to carry out dental procedures while the patient was unconscious. General anaesthesia in primary care was discontinued across the country in 2001 and sedation techniques have been developed which have eclipsed the need for GA in dentistry. During sedation, the patients are conscious but they are not aware of any pain and have none or minimal recollection of the dental procedure. This technique is very safe when carried out by a well-trained sedationist and their team in appropriate surroundings. With sedation, the patient breathes for himself and does not suffer the ill effects of GA, nausea, muscle pains and sore nose and throat.

I am scared of needles, what can you do to minimise this fear?

Before you attend our clinic you can go to your pharmacist and tell him/her of your concerns. They will be able to give you Ametop or EMLA cream over the counter, which contains local anaesthetic solution and applying this to your hands one hour prior to your dental visit. This will numb you hands so that you will not feel any sensation during cannulation. On your arrival at our clinic, notify our receptionist who will let the sedationist know. The sedationist may ask you to inhale a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen gasses (similar to the Entonox women use during childbirth) to make you feel more relaxed before inserting the cannula.

While I am sedated, will I be able to hear, feel or see anything?

You will be able to hear things as verbal contact must be maintained – as per the GDC definition of conscious sedation. If we ask you to take a deep breath, you will respond, but you will not remember this and none of what is occurring will worry or trouble you. You may not be able to see anything as we cover your eyes with protective glasses. Your mouth is numbed up as usual in the dental surgery but you will not be able to recall this happening and the dental treatment will proceed while your teeth and gums are completely numb so that you won’t be able to feel anything.

How long will recovery take?

This depends largely on the amount of sedation and the amount of dental work that you have received. This also depends on your metabolism of the sedative drugs used in your sedation. Typically most patients have left the premises within 45 minutes of going into our recovery facility where a trained nurse will supervise your recovery and give you your postoperative instructions.

For further information about any of our services please call us: 01234 988498.

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