Sedation for Dental treatment

No one really enjoys having a dental treatment but many of us manage to accept it with the help of anaesthetic – either local, general or sedation.

As caring is at the heart of our practice, our dentists understand your anxieties and can advise on alternative methods of pain and anxiety control which can be used on their own or in conjunction with local anaesthetic.

Types Of Sedation

General anaesthetic is now confined to the safety of the hospital environment and if necessary we can refer those patients to hospital. However, to replace general anaesthetic there is a range of safer modern alternatives. The more commonly used techniques are:

  • oral sedation
  • inhalation sedation
  • intravenous sedation (injection in your arm or hand)
  • hypnosis (read more on our Hypnotherapy page)
  • alpha stim
Image courtesy of dan/

With intravenous sedation the sedative drugs are administered by an injection into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. The onset of sedation is rapid and precise and although you will remain in verbal contact with your dentist you may well remember very little about your treatment. This technique is very different from general anaesthetic where you are fully unconscious.

Recovery after this technique is slow and you will not be able to leave the premises until advised by the dentist. You will be required to bring a responsible adult with you to remain on the premises whilst treatment is being carried out and to escort you home afterwards. You may feel sleepy and be irresponsible afterwards and your escort must be able to give you undivided attention until you get home. You will also need supervision for the rest of the day and amongst other instructions you must not drive, operate machinery or make serious decisions. The following day you should be fit to resume your normal activities.

This technique is popular with patients and is often used to overcome the fear of dentistry. It offers a safer powerful alternative to general anaesthesia.

IV sedation
Image coutesy of DavidCastilloDominici/

As with all sedation techniques there are of course requirements both before and after treatment and the instructions given by your dentist should be strictly obeyed.

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