Dental Sedation - The lighter way to experience dentistry
At Rock House Dental Practice, we provide dental sedation to help you undergo dental treatment.
When people have anxiety about pain or about the dentist in general, they often opt for what is sometimes called sleep dentistry. The different styles of dental sedation are what make sleep dentistry possible, although not all sedation dentistry involves actual sleep!
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is a method of completely relaxing your mind and body, allowing dental treatment to take place with minimal disturbance and discomfort. Many nervous patients find that sedation enables them to endure lengthy procedures, feeling as though the time passed in just a few minutes.
Sedation dentistry is when a relaxant drug forms part of the dental treatment. Administered by injection, either in the back of your hand or in your arm, the drug will make you feel less anxious. The dose will depend on the amount of treatment needed and the length of time it will take to complete.
The sedatives themselves are substances, legal and approved for use in dentistry. Most patients describe the effects as if you are in a trance-like state of relaxation.
You become drowsy and unaware of any treatment, but you are still able to co-operate with the dentist. Because you remain conscious during dental sedation, you can understand and respond to requests from your dentist. However, you may not remember much about the dental treatment.
Patients tell us that dental sedation is a wonderful feeling. They feel rested and peaceful. They are able to keep their anxiety under control and often experience a light floating feeling. The effects of dental sedation take some time to wear off after the appointment. The amount of time is dependant on the patient and the dose. You won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machines during this time. You may be required to have someone accompany you after sedation.
You will not be asleep during the procedure. It is now almost impossible to find a dentist that puts you to sleep. “Sleep” only occurs with general anaesthesia, and this is not provided in a UK dental practice. NHS dental sedation clinics used to offer this service previously, but the law changed in the 1990's.
Dental sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what’s going on. The drugs used in sedation dentistry produce either partial or full memory loss. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly and you will not recall much of what happened. Many patients remember nothing at all. So it may, indeed, appear as if you were “asleep” during the procedure. You are never left alone in the dental surgery and all team members will always have a chaperone.
How safe is Dental Sedation?
Sedation dentistry is very safe when carried out by trained dentists.
However, some people are not suitable for dental sedation.
- Pregnant patients
- Patients with an allergy to sedative drugs
- Alcohol intoxication
- Some instances of glaucoma
And there’s no need to worry – we’ll monitor your blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen levels in the blood, and heart whilst you’re under sedation.
Advantages of Dental Sedation
Sedation dentistry is best for patients that don't want to be aware of the procedure. The onset of action is very rapid, and drug dosage and level of sedation meet the individual’s needs. Dental sedation is very useful in patients that gag excessively. The gag reflex reduces allowing the treatment to become easier.