IV Sedation / Nervous Patients
The most common reason for putting off visiting the dentist is fear. Often, patients put up with unnecessary pain and discomfort for months until it becomes unbearable because they are afraid of visiting the dentist. An easily-remedied dental problem then becomes more difficult, more invasive and more costly to treat.
There are many reasons for this fear: a bad past experience, difficulty in getting numb with local anaesthetic, a phobia of the smells or sounds of the dental surgery, sensitive teeth. . . Sometimes, there's no logical explanation for the fear, but whatever the cause, sedation can make a big difference. Using IV sedation, you will be fully relaxed for the duration of your treatment, experiencing no pain and remembering little of the treatment afterwards. You will also be monitored continuously to ensure you are medically well.
At All Smiles we have an in-house anaesthetist, Molly Hedley, who is also Chief Resuscitation Officer for Kings College Healthcare Trust. Molly will sedate patients within safe guidelines, and the practice also has full resuscitation facilities in the unlikely event of an emergency.
How does sedation work?
If you opt for sedation, you will be given intravenous sedative drugs using safe and proven techniques. Our anaesthetist will administer an IV to enable medications for relaxation to enter your body. These drugs will quickly put you in a relaxed stated that is maintained and monitored for the duration of your treatment. This is not a 'general anaesthetic' like those administered in hospitals, as you will breathe on your own, but you won't be aware of or remember any dental procedures or even getting numb. After the procedure is finished you'll be brought round, and should have a friend or family member to take you home as you won't be able to drive. The effects of IV sedation can last for five to six hours.
As well as helping nervous patients to relax, the use of IV sedation enables us to complete multiple procedures in one appointment, which otherwise may be too tiring or uncomfortable. It's also very helpful for patients with a strong gag reflex that can otherwise make treatment difficult. There are many other reasons patients opt for sedation:
Reasons for having sedation
- Fear of dental treatment, dentists or the smells and sounds of the surgery
- History of traumatic dental experiences
- Very sensitive gag reflex
- Difficulty opening the mouth for long periods
- Difficulty getting numb
- Very sensitive teeth
- Complex dental problems or a need for dental surgery
- In denial of a dental problem until the pain is unbearable
- Have not received professional dental care for many years
- Get repeat prescriptions from different dentists or doctors for painkillers
- Experience sweaty palms or find yourself gripping the armrests
- Experienced sedation in the past that did not work well
IV sedation can help with all these problems, ensuring you get the dental treatment you need it when you need it, avoiding unnecessary pain and discomfort, and potentially more serious dental problems. Our anaesthetist Molly Hedley regularly checks all equipment to ensure it is working properly, and can answer any questions you may have about IV sedation treatment.