For some patients despite every care and effort to help put them at ease – dental procedures can be extremely nerve wracking, stressful and leave them feeling anxious. As a result of this some patients avoid the dentist all together or put off and delay receiving much needed treatments which can be extremely detrimental to their long term oral health.
In 2018, Sharrow Dental introduced in-house sedation services which are designed to help nervous patients or those with a severe gag reflex, undergo treatment in a way that is stress free, comfortable and relaxing.
What is conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation is a technique using medications to relax patients to a point where dental treatment can be carried out comfortably and without pain.
These types of sedation can significantly help patients by reducing anxiety, minimising discomfort or pain and inducing relaxation during dental procedures such as fillings, root canals and cleanings.
Throughout the procedure you will still be awake and your dentist will be able to talk to you to help put your mind at ease and inform you of everything that is happening.
What are the benefits of conscious sedation for dental work?
Anxiety can be a major barrier for many patients to overcome and make dental procedures – especially those that are lengthy and invasive almost impossible. With conscious sedation we are now able to offer the full range of treatment to patients who previously might never have thought it possible.
Some of the benefits of conscious sedation include;
- Anxiety free dental treatment
- Patients feel comfortable and relaxed
- Lengthy procedures feel like they pass quickly
- Makes uncomfortable procedures such as extractions more manageable
- Quick recovery period
What types of conscious sedation do you offer?
At Sharrow Dental our experienced physicians are able to offer a number of effective conscious sedation treatments including;
- Local anaesthesia
- Gas and air
- Intravenous sedation
- Intranasal conscious sedation
- Oral sedation
Your dentist will be able to advise you on which type of sedation is best suited to you.
Could conscious sedation be right for me?
Phobias and anxiety related to the dentist is not uncommon – however it is vital that this doesn’t lead to the avoidance of dental appointments and treatment all together.
Patients would likely benefit from conscious sedation if they;
- Have a phobia, are very nervous or have anxiety related to the dentist
- Are undergoing a long or complex procedure
- Have a sensitive gag reflex or are unable to withstand dental treatments without gagging
- Would prefer to not be aware of the procedure going on
- Are afraid of having injections / needles in the mouth
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
- Suffer from jaw joint problems and cannot hold open their mouths for very long
What does the treatment entail?
This will vary depending on the type of treatment but here is what you can typically expect from conscious sedation for a general procedure;
- Once your dentist has talked you through the procedure you will receive a sedative either by an oral tablet, an IV line or a mask.
- Your dentist will wait until the sedatives have taken effect. The time they take can vary depending on the type of sedative used from just a few minutes for IV sedatives and up to 60 minutes for oral sedatives.
- Once they have taken effect your dental physician can begin. Depending on the type of procedure you can be under sedation for as little as 15 to 30 minutes.
- Following treatment you will likely have no memory of the procedure. Patients will need to arrange for someone else to drive or transport them home as it can take some time to wear off completely.
Conscious sedation is not something that is automatically given for dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, crown replacements and extractions – so if it is something you would like then please speak to your dentist ahead of time who can discuss it with you.
Find out more about conscious dental sedation Essex
If you are putting off a procedure or have a treatment booked in the diary but are too nervous to go ahead with it then conscious sedation could be the right choice for you.
To find out more information about your sedation options please call us on – 01245 354046 and one of our friendly advisors will be happy to help.
Why does my mouth feel dry?
Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems and can happen as you get older. Quite often it is a side effect of medication – especially heart, blood pressure and depression tablets.
If you have a dry mouth, this can be very uncomfortable and it can make eating certain foods very difficult.
Many prescription medicines can cause a dry mouth, if you are taking any regular medication from your doctor, it may be worth discussing these symptoms with him to see if there is an alternative that does not have the same side effects.
If you think that you are suffering with a dry mouth, you should discuss this with your dental team. They may recommend one of the many products that are available over-the-counter to help to alleviate this problem.
What am I in pain after a tooth extraction?
Generally any discomfort after an extraction does not last for long and can easily be controlled by the painkillers you would normally take for a headache. If it lasts any longer than 24 hours you should go back to your dental team for advice.
Sometimes pain may occur 2-4 days after the extraction when a blood clot has not formed properly in the extraction socket and the bone becomes infected – something called a ‘dry socket’. You will need to go back to your dentist, who will dress the socket for you.
Why do the appointments run late?
As with many other NHS services, the dentist doesn’t know what conditions will be presented until the patient arrives. Sometimes this means that we have to spend considerably longer relieving pain and carrying out the treatment plan than we had envisaged.
Also, we do give priority for emergency treatment to children and patients in severe pain. We always try to squeeze them in, promptly, even if we don’t have the appointments in our diary.
Sadly, there is no shortcut. No patient wants to be asked to vacate the chair “after 15 minutes” with the treatment incomplete. We apologise in advance for any delays and we will try to keep you informed of any late-running of the service as best we can.
Why is parking so difficult?
We appreciate that there is only limited onsite parking at the practice. We have recently invested in staff parking elsewhere to free up some spaces for patients of the practice. Alternatively, street parking is available with some exclusions that apply locally between 9am – 11am.