Some people are so frightened of the dentist that they avoid dental treatment altogether but today’s dentists are sympathetic and in recognising that some patients experience real anxiety. Modern dentistry is very customer focused and as such, a range of sedation and relaxation techniques have been developed to help anxious patients overcome their fears.
Dr Joanna McKendrick is the sedation dentist at Oriel Villas Dental Surgery and is happy to help anyone overcome their fears of dentistry. If you would like to discuss your options for sedation please arrange a consultation with Joanna.
Q. What is sedation?
An effective way to treat the most nervous of patients is via intravenous sedation (injection). The drugs have a relaxing effect, but the patient is still awake but is unaware of what is happening and will have no painful memories of the procedure. This is a good way of relaxing someone who has anxiety as the exact amount of sedative agent is given in a safe way. Weight, age and medical condition must be assessed before suitability for this kind of sedation is determined but this would all be discussed during the consultation with the dentist. Usually the patient would need to be referred to a specialist clinic for this treatment.
Q. How will IV sedation in the surgery affect me?
Whilst IV sedation will make you drowsy, you will remain awake enough to communicate and cooperate with the dental team. The effects of the sedative will take time to wear off and you won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery during this time so it is important that someone can help you home after treatment and keep a careful eye on you for the rest of the day.
Q. Will I ever feel differently about visiting the dentist?
It is our aim to get your confidence back in coming to see us. As you get to know and trust your dentist, hygienist and other members of the dental team at your practice, your fears will dampen. In time you will come to see your regular visit to the dentist as just another part of your normal life. The aim of the sedation team is for you to gain enough confidence to come and see us without relying on this method for getting any treatment done.