Sedation: key facts about a solution for patients attending the clinic.

There have been some reports in the media recently regarding the greater numbers of people receiving dental care with various sedation techniques in Scotland.

Now you may think that this is due to more and more people feeling nervous and anxious of receiving dental treatment, but I am not too sure this is the case.

I think more and more people are aware of the benefits of receiving dental care, and this includes the various sedation techniques such as “twilight sleep”.

In today’s world, people are aware of the importance of having a nice smile in their working and personal lives. Many of us are no longer willing to compromise on our appearance or our ability to chew and enjoy food in comfort, and people who are anxious of dental care are no different.

Some people may be nervous about undergoing dental care; this is perfectly normal. Often these anxieties can be dispelled with a caring attitude and good communication from your dentist, as well as gentle use of effective numbing techniques.

Websites for dental anxiety support, e.g www.dentalfearcentral.org, are wonderful resources where anxious patients can receive support from fellow patients and caring dentists, helping them on their journey to achieve optimal dental health.

Modern dental conscious sedation is a technique whereby different drugs are used to relax and sedate the anxious or phobic patient, and is carried out by dentists who have undergone additional postgraduate supervision and training.

It is an invaluable technique used to help those people whose anxiety may be such that a form of sedation is required to allow them to achieve their dental goals. Conscious sedation is also preferred to a general anaesthetic for potentially difficult surgical procedures e.g. removal of lower wisdom teeth or multiple implant placements; due to the exceptional safety record of conscious sedation, a more pleasant experience, and significantly lower costs compared with general anaesthesia.

Prospective candidates for conscious sedation are first assessed by the sedating dentist, to ensure that sedation is appropriate.

This will involve taking a detailed medical history, as well as assessing the patient’s medical fitness. If it is deemed that conscious sedation is appropriate, a full explanation of the procedure is provided, and an appointment arranged for treatment. On the day of the procedure, the patient will arrive with an escort who will accompany them home and look after them for the rest of the day.

The sedation drug will make the patient relaxed and a little drowsy, and for many, they will have no memory of the treatment.

After a short rest in the clinic to ensure that it is safe for the patient to go home with their escort, the patient is discharged, a step further along their road to optimal dental health and the smile that they have dreamed about.

The team here at our Glasgow dental clinic can offer patients advice and information on sedation techniques as well as in-clinic sedation. Please feel free to contact us via the website or by telephoning the team on 0141 339 7579.