• You have a very strong gag reflex or difficulty opening your mouth
• You are very anxious about dental treatment
• You had a bad experience at the dentist in the past
• You have a fear of needles or other dental equipment
• You are having complex treatment or need for oral surgery
• You have a phobia (fear) of the noises and smells of a dental surgery
• You are unable to keep your mouth open for a long time
• You remain in denial of a dental problem until the pain is unbearable
• You have not received professional dental care in many years, perhaps decades
• Extremely sensitive teeth
• Experience sweaty palms or find yourself gripping the armrests
While going to a dentist is completely normal for some people, others arrive in a state of anxiety and restlessness when it comes to dental visits or dental procedures.
This condition is called dental phobia or dental anxiety where patients experience fear of the dentist, dentistry or of receiving dental care. To be a nervous patient is no big deal whether you’re a child or an adult. However, the condition may lead to poor oral health if the patient continues to avoid dental visits for a long time.
Some patients have fear due to past experiences, stories they have heard or even just because they haven't been to the dentist in a long time. Others hate the noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care and if you can't block them out, then you may want to experience "dental sedation" while we do the work.
With a modern yet friendly approach to the provision of dental care, our dentist is able to make a nervous patient absolutely comfortable and at ease in the clinic, so that they can discuss their feelings and needs. We have a number of options including sedation that help ease the nervousness and anxiety of patients during their dental visits and procedures.
Sedation is a procedure that makes use of sedative medications to make visiting the dentist a more relaxed experience, enabling the dentists to perform normal dental procedures. The sedative drug administered is intended to relax the patient and in some cases of I/V (intravenous) sedation, enables the patient to have no lasting memory of the procedure at all. Please see more information on intravenous sedation.
The medications you receive will not put you to sleep, although you are likely to feel sleepy while under sedation. Sedation dentistry is different from general anaesthesia, which leads to a deeper state of sleep.
Recent research has indicated that the number one reason adults postpone needed dental care was fear! That's right, not time, not money, but fear! We will work closely with you to ensure that you have a pleasant experience!
CONSCIOUS SEDATION is often referred to as “TWILIGHT SEDATION” as it is an excellent way to help you relax whilst having dental treatment. With conscious sedation you will be conscious but will feel like you are between awake and asleep. This means that you will be able to respond to us but will have difficult or no recollection of anything that has happened afterwards
IV - INTRAVENOUS SEDATION is the administration of a drug into the blood system by injection usually in the arm or hand and is quite painless. This is a completely safe technique, which will let you snooze through your dental treatment, comfortable and relaxed with little awareness of the procedure. You are not technically asleep, although the sensation which many patients describe is one of feeling relaxed and sleepy, at the end of which you will have little or no memory of how the dental team has worked on your teeth, including the common anxiety which can be triggered by the sounds and smells of dental surgery.
The treatment itself can then be carried out by using the normal local anaesthetic, which is given as needed during treatments. Even the most highly anxious patients can be successfully treated with this technique. Our team of dentist and nurses are specially trained to deliver this type of sedation, using the most modern equipment to monitor your during the sedation and recovery and they will make sure you are safe and comfortable at all times during your visit. Don’t let your fear of the dentist stop you from looking after your teeth. You will need somebody to drive you home and stay with you after your treatment.
RA - RELATIVE ANALGESIA known as INHALATION SEDATION This technique uses a mixture of gases, which is inhaled by the patient to produce a feeling of comfort and to give a degree of pain control. Inhalation sedation produces an overall feeling of well-being (euphoria). Some patients feel a little drowsy or like they are floating on a cloud, but they are conscious at all times. It’s a very effective and comfortable experience – patients simply breath in through a nosepiece. When performed by an expert dentist like ours, it is completely safe because you can’t overdose on “gas and air” (nitrous oxide and oxygen). The gas and air mixture quickly leave the body as soon as the patient breathes in a few breaths of “ordinary air” (oxygen).
Also, there are no side-effects to worry about– you can drive home after about 15 minutes (although for children we recommend to have somebody to accompany them). This technique is preferred for children because you want your child to be happy and calm as possible during any dental treatment. The “happy air” they inhale through the small nosepiece quickly leads to pleasant and calm sensation which makes them feel warm, relaxed and at ease. (it may even make them giggle). Whilst your child may feel sleepy, they will not go to sleep. Obviously, this is much safer alternative to I/V sedation or general anaesthesia. Children under 16 years of age require an escort for inhalation sedation.
ORAL SEDATION (TABLETS) As a pre-medication, tablets can be taken at home to relieve the anxiety of the anticipation of the dental treatment. Frightened patients often find this helpful before having another form of anxiety management in the practice. Those patients on the day of treatment will require an escort since they can’t drive on that day.
INTRANASAL SEDATION For adult patients who are nervous of cannulation (needle in the hand), we can provide an option where the sedative is administered through a nasal spray. Once the patient is sedated, the sedationist will then place a cannula in the hand so that the sedative can be topped up or reversed if necessary. The patient will be unaware of this being done as they will already be sedated sufficiently.