Posted on 13.12.2014 by perfectsmile
Despite the fact that dental treatment is now quicker, simpler and less painful than it’s ever been, there are still very many people who find the thought of a trip to a dentist’s surgery absolutely terrifying. In some cases, this may be due to an unfortunate experience when they were younger, or perhaps the fear is simply an irrational feeling bordering on a phobia. Whatever the reason behind it, this kind of fear can stop people visiting their dentist, even for a check-up, and this can have long term ramifications on the state of their teeth and even on their general health and well-being. For people such as these, local anaesthetic is not an option, since merely being able to feel and hear the work being carried out will be enough to unnerve them. The good news, however, is that there is now a type of sedation which can be accessed by nervous patients, one which will ensure they remain conscious throughout treatment but in a state of deep relaxation. This is known as conscious sedation, and is a method whereby the patient is put into a state of deep relaxation whilst still being able to communicate with the dentist carrying out the treatment. There are different levels of sedation available for patients making use of conscious sedation, and your dentist and anaesthetist will work with you to select the level of sedation which is most appropriate for your case, and for the levels of stress and anxiety which you feel.
- Light Sedation – This level of sedation will put the patient into a state of relaxation whilst keeping them alert and awake.
- Moderate Sedation – Under this level of sedation, the patient will remain conscious but groggy throughout, and probably won’t remember much, if anything, about the treatment later. Patients undergoing moderate sedation will still be able to communicate with their dentist, although their words may become a little slurred, and they will need somebody to take them home form the surgery once treatment has been completed.
Oral Sedation, IV Sedation and More There are different methods which your anaesthetist might use to administer conscious sedation, with the selection being determined mainly by the level of sedation required:
- Inhalation Sedation – This is the lightest form of sedation. It takes the form of Nitrous Oxide (also known as laughing gas), which is administered via a mask over the nose. The gas is taken in through the nose and breathed out of the mouth. The sedation is so light that the patient will recover virtually immediately once treatment has been completed.
- Oral Sedation – This sedation takes the form of a tablet to be taken an hour before treatment. The actual level of sedation depends upon the strength of the medication prescribed. Typically, the patient will feel sleepy but will still be able to respond to questions from the dentist. The level of sedation is such that an escort home will be required.
- IV Sedation – This produces a level of sedation similar to that brought about by oral sedation. The difference is that the sedative is introduced directly into the bloodstream via an intravenous drip. This means that the sedative takes effect much more quickly and that the level can be adjusted throughout the procedure, should your dentist find this necessary.
Different types of sedation:
- Chloral Hydrate Sedation – This is a type of sedation which is particularly suited to infants or young children. Youngsters may be frightened of the dentist through simple lack of experience, or they may be too young to sit still in the chair for the length of time which the treatment will take to complete. Chloral Hydrate Sedation is an oral sedation (see above) which will make your child extremely relaxed and sleepy without actually rendering them unconscious.
- Herbal Oral Sedation – The key aim of any type of sedation is to induce a feeling of relaxation or sleepiness, leaving the patient utterly at ease whilst keeping them conscious and able to respond to their dentist. Thus, people who would otherwise avoid treatment due to anxiety are able to access it. For many people, conventional medicine is a choice of last resort, as they prefer to turn to herbal, natural or ‘alternative’ medications. The good news for people such as these is that there are forms of herbal oral sedation available, such as valerian or passionflower. Since the use of this form of medication is still fairly rare, however, you should always discuss it in depth with your dentist before treatment, and come to a decision over factors such as the dosage.
- Homeopathic Sedation – Some dentists specialise in homeopathic treatments, using herbal remedies for problems rather than man made medication. This principle can be extended to the realm of sedation, although you will have to find a dentist and/or anaesthetist who specialises in the field. The variety of homeopathic sedatives available, most of which will be taken as an oral sedative, is so wide that each individual will be able to select the sedative which is perfect for them.
For many years, the choice for patients requiring dental treatment lay between local and general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic was unsuitable for those who felt anxious in the dentist’s chair, whilst general carried the kind of risks always associated with rendering patients unconscious. Modern sedation, however, treads a perfect path between the two, leaving anxious patients conscious enough to liaise with their dentist but so calm and relaxed that they often recall nothing about the treatment afterwards. If this sounds like it would meet your needs, and allow you to access the treatment you require and are entitled to, then visit Perfect Smile Dental for IV Sedation treatment in London, and let our expert practitioners put you totally at your ease.
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