Sedation

Are you frightened to have dental work done ? We have a solution !

We understand that some aspects of dental care can be nerve-wracking. The mouth is a sensitive environment, and we understand that some patients are frightened of dental procedures, dental sounds and dental tools.

Oral health is vitally important, and if you allow your dental health to decline this could have an impact on your general health. Why not have your work done under dental sedation.

We have found that this can dramatically reduce your anxiety and dental fear. In our experience, it can actually make going to the dentist fun!   Fun……………..?

Can I alleviate my fear of the dentist?

Yes! We think you can !

People are so frightened of the dentist that they avoid dental treatment altogether but our dentists are sympathetic and recognise that some patients experience real anxiety. Antwerp Dental Group has dentists who are skilled in Dental Sedation and relaxation techniques that can help you overcome your dental fear.

What is sedation?

Sedation is a technique where we use drugs to make you feel very very relaxed. The drugs calm your heart rate, calm your breathing, make you drousy, and can even make you forget the procedure. The drugs can be administered in differenty ways :

  1. You can inhale a gas (Inhalational Sedation)
  2. You can receive a drug by a small injection (Intravenous Sedation)
  3. You can receive a drug through the membrane of your nose by squirting the druf into your nostrils (Transmucosal Sedation)

The most common way to treat adult nervous patients is by intravenous sedation (injection). The drugs have a relaxing and calming effect but don’t prevent communication between dentist and patient so treatment can still be carried out easily. Weight, age and medical condition must be assessed before suitability for this kind of sedation is determined but this would all be discussed during the consultation with the dentist.

How will IV sedation in the surgery affect me?

Whilst IV sedation will make you drowsy and unaware of the treatment you are undergoing, you will remain lucid enough to communicate and cooperate with the dental team. You will however feel as if you are very drunk ! The effects of the sedative will take time to wear off and you won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery during this time so it is important that someone can help you home after treatment and keep a careful eye on you for sometime afterwards. Your dentist will tell you how long it will be before the drugs are completely clear from your body.

What else can help?

You can be helped to feel relaxed by ‘relative analgesia’ sometimes known as inhalation sedation. This means breathing in a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen (‘laughing gas’) which quickly leads to a pleasant, relaxed feeling. At the same time, your dentist puts you at ease through calming speech. Although you may feel a little drowsy, you remain conscious throughout but any treatment given causes you no discomfort. You breathe in the mixture through a nose-piece which is very comfortable. You can’t overdose on the gas as the mixture quickly leaves your body if you breathe in one or two breaths of ordinary air. There are no after-effects and you are able to drive a car about 15 minutes later. Many dentists use this safe and effective technique.

See the video below to help you understand more about how inhalational sedation works.

Will I ever feel differently about visiting the dentist?

It is highly likely! As you get to know and trust your dentist and the Team at Antwerp Dentistry, your fears of dental treatment will diminish knowing full well that we have your complete interest at heart.

You can be sedated by either:

  1. Gas and air though your nose
  2. A drug which is injected into your arm (Intravenous Sedation)
  3. A drug which is inserted in the nostril
  4. A tablet which you swallow 1 hour before your dental procedure

Intravenous Sedation is the most straight-forward and successful approach if you are not needle-phobic and makes you forget that you are having treatment.

With Dental Conscious Sedation you will be very comatose – but you will not be unconscious. Sedation is comparable to feeling very very drunk. Many of our patients comment on how relaxing and comforting the technique is.

That depends on the nature of the procedure. Most short dental procedures such as a dental filling or a straight forward extraction are completed within 1 hour.

If you are receiving more complicated treatment, such as multiple fillings, multiple extractions, or dental implants it is likely that we will plan a procedure which will involve topping up the drug over the course of the 2-3 hours.

Sedation techniques are not like General Anaesthesia. You still need an injection to numb the region of the mouth that is being treated. When you are treated with gas and air, this does have a moderate pain reduction effect, which does not occur with intravenous drugs, however we tend not to rely on this pain reduction effect. We generally tend to provide a local anaesthetic with all dental sedation procedures.

Dental Sedation drugs will tend to make you feel drousy for a few hours and you will likely want to rest for a couple of hours after the procedure because of the relaxing effect of the drug. With invasive procedures, you may feel a little nauseous for a couple of hours.

After you have had time to rest off the effect of the drug however, there are very few ill effects of the drug, and you can resume normal activity relatively quickly, usually the next day.

It is wise to avoid driving after dental procedures, whether you receive sedation or not. This is due to the post-operative discomfort and sensitivity that may occur after treatment. The effect of local anaesthesia may also make you feel out of sorts or drousy. We understand that for more simpler treatments, patients do not wish to bother friends and relatives for minor procedures.

For patients who receive intravenous sedation, the drug used can have a second sedative effect  after the recovery period. It is therefore dangerous to drive after intravenous sedation. We recommend not driving for 24 hours.

If you receive gas and air,  most of this drug is removed via the lungs by natural diffusion minutes after completing the procedure. It is therefore possible to drive straight after a simple procedure using gas and air.

If you are receiving and intranasal or intravenous drugs for your sedation you will need an escort who will take you home and support you for the evening. We will not be allowed to perform your procedure if you do not identify and introduce us to your escort. If you are receiving gas and air, then you do not need to bring an escort to take you home.

Don’t worry if you are needle-phobic !

We can either use a gas and air technique to sedate you, or we can use gas and air to sedate you enough to receive a needle in the hand to administer the sedative drug.

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