Nervous Patients » Sedation & Dental Phobia
Is there anything that can help me with my fear of the dentist?
Yes. Some people are so frightened of the dentist that they will not go for dental treatment. They can overcome their fears with relaxation or sedation. Our dentists are sympathetic about these feelings, and you can ask our dentists about these ways to help.
What is sedation?
We offer an intravenous or IV sedation. This is given by injection, either in the back of your hand or in your arm. The dose will depend on the amount of treatment needed and the length of time it will take to complete.
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. The effects of sedative medicine take some time to wear off and your dentist will tell you how long the drugs will take to clear from your body. You won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery during this time.
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 nitrous oxide and oxygen (‘laughing gas’) which quickly leads to a pleasant, relaxed feeling. The dentist puts you at ease at the same time, by talking softly and suggesting what you feel. You remain conscious all the time, although you may be a little drowsy, and any treatment given causes you no discomfort. You breathe in the mixture through a nosepiece, which is very comfortable. You can’t overdose on the gas, as the mixture quickly leaves the body if you breathe in one or two breaths of ordinary air. There are no after-effects either, and you can drive a car after about 15 minutes. Many dentists use this safe and effective technique.
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. 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.