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Sedation

Many patients ask about Sedation. Here is some information that may be helpful.

Sedation means a drug to help you physically and emotionally relax during treatment. There are different kinds of sedation available depending on your needs and your dentist will discuss the options with you before any treatment. Pregnant women and people with some medical conditions are not suitable for sedation.

The options can include:

GAS AND AIR

This is similar to the gas women get in childbirth. It helps you relax as you breathe it in. You are awake and calmer as it takes effect. It has a second pain relieving effect which makes numbing your teeth more comfortable. Once your treatment has finished the sedation is turned off and you 'sober up' in minutes. You can drive and continue with your normal day afterwards. Gas and Air is suitable for general treatment and can be sued at cleaning visits to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

I.V. SEDATION

This is a gentle injection of a valium type drug into your vein. It gives a strong sense of relaxation quickly. Many patients say they experience a 'warm glow' feeling. You are awake and able to talk to the dentist. Your sense of time changes ie you may think you have been here for 10 minutes but you have actually been here for an hour. As a side effect some people forget all or part of what has happened when under the effects of the drug. It wears off slowly like alcohol. You need to be collected by a friend or family member. For safety reasons you cannot drive/work/look after children/consume alcohol for 24 hrs after the visit. After treatment you need collected by a friend or family member.

Oral SEDATION

This is a prescribed Valium type tablet taken one hour before treatment and has the same effects as IV sedation although it takes a little longer to start working. As a side effect some people forget all or part of what has happened when under the effects of the drug. It wears off slowly like alcohol. You need to be collected by a friend or family member. Once the tablet has been taken you cannot drive, work, look after children or consume alcohol for 24 hrs after the visit, for safety reasons. This means you can come to the practice and take it here one hour before the dentist sees you. After treatment you need to be collected by a friend or family member.

Please note that generally, because the drugs are powerful, a patient will have one of these 3 types of sedation.

Sedation helps some people control anxiety...for a comfortable experience you still normally need to be carefully frozen and the dentist needs to deliver your treatment gently. This means our approach for a lot of people on a treatment visit is as follows:

You can stop or ask questions at any point in this process. The dentist and nurse will stop immediately if you need a break. They will not start again unless you are completely ready. You are welcome to have a friend or family member with you at all or part of the appointment.

Your dentists can discuss other anxiety control techniques, e.g. breathing techniques and yoga which are excellent for calmness, in addition to or instead of sedation. If you have any questions about any of the above please contact the practice.