There are many people who, for a variety of reasons, have been traumatised by previous experiences of dental treatment and who can only be regarded as “phobic”. These unfortunate people pale at the thought of treatment and may well suffer sleepless, anxious nights prior to an appointment.
Their heart rate rises at the sight of an appointment card and they will cancel many appointments until such a time that pain forces them to seek treatment and thus may then be further traumatised by events.
Despite being in pain, they will often put off ringing for help until 5.00pm on a Friday in the half hope that it will be too late to be seen!
It is now possible to offer relief to these patients with a technique known as “Conscious Sedation”. Conscious sedation is a very safe technique which, as its name implies, produces a sedated state. There are various levels of sedation that can be achieved depending on the degree of your phobia, but all levels produce a potent relaxation effect and a marked amnesic quality- you will think you have been sleeping!
However, as the term implies, you are conscious throughout and therefore it is a very safe technique, avoiding the hazards of general anaesthesia.
The deepest levels of sedation require a cocktail of drugs that are administered intravenously by a qualified anaesthetist, but lighter levels require only a drink administered by the dentist.
The drink is a popular option as it does not require an anaesthetist and is therefore cheaper.
For very long, complicated appointments it is often better to employ the services of our in house anaesthetist, Dr Sonia George, who will monitor your requirements throughout and who can adjust the level of sedation almost instantly to suit the complexity of the treatment .
In this way there is never any worry of “waking up” during the procedure.
We do understand that, as a nervous patient, you may find it difficult to make that first phone call so we have prepared a list of the most commonly asked questions with answers, but, please be brave give us a call for any information you may require.
Alternatively, send us an e-mail with your contact details and we will call you .
We are on your side and here to help - we don’t bite!
Q: Is there anything that can help me with my fear of the dentist?
A: Yes! Some people are so frightened of the dentist that they will not go for treatment until the pain is unbearable. Sedation will help you overcome your fears but you should also understand that modern dentistry has advanced and is now painless. Our team is specially trained to be understanding, gentle and sympathetic. The atmosphere is relaxed and the surroundings gentle- you may want to come back regularly for some relaxing “down time”!
Q: What is conscious sedation?
A: Conscious sedation is a technique involving the use of drugs that induce a sedated, but conscious, state. It is achieved by drinking or injecting drugs, which have a potent relaxation effect and also a marked amnesic quality. However, as previously stated and as the name implies, you are conscious throughout and therefore it is a very safe technique, avoiding the risks of general anaesthesia.
Q: How will sedation in the surgery affect me?
A: You will become drowsy and unaware of any treatment, but you are still able to co-operate with the dentist. However, due to the marked amnesic quality of the drugs used, you will remember nothing and think you have been sleeping.
You are awake at the completion of treatment but the effects of the drugs will take some time to wear off completely and an escort home is a legal requirement.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Costs vary according to the length of appointment. The simple drink is cheaper than intravenous sedation as it does not require the costs of our anaesthetist but all costs will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation and you will be given a written estimate of the full costs of your treatment.