At Queensway we have been pioneers in providing conscious sedation techniques for nervous and anxious patients for over 25 years. Our track record for delivering a safe and high-quality service has enabled us to treat over 100,000 patients at our Billingham practice, who otherwise may not have been able to access treatment because of a dental fear.
It is not uncommon to have a fear of the dentist but it is important that people do not neglect visiting the dental practice due to their phobia. Sedation makes patients feel more relaxed and at ease, enabling them to undergo their dental treatment with the support of local anaesthetic. Patients remain fully conscious throughout the procedure, enabling the dentist and dental nurse to communicate in a very calming and supportive manner throughout. Almost any patient who is in need of dental treatment for health or cosmetic reasons, but has anxiety or fear about the procedure, is likely to benefit from conscious sedation.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM CONSCIOUS SEDATION?
- Patients who have high anxiety about dental visits
- Patients who have had traumatic dental experiences in the past
- Patients receiving complex treatments or surgery
- Patients who experience difficulty numbing with local anaesthetic
- Patients with a sensitive gag reflex
- Patients who have jaw joint troubles and cannot open their mouth for extended periods
- Patients who are afraid of needles in the mouth
- Patients with sensitive teeth
- Patients who dislike the noises and/or smells associated with dental care
At Queensway, all patients will be thoroughly assessed so a dentist can listen to their anxieties and concerns and discuss the option of conscious sedation. Following this initial appointment, we will determine the most appropriate form of conscious sedation to suit each patient’s individual needs and anxiety levels.
Inhalation ‘happy air’ conscious sedation
Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen to create a pleasant sedative air which can be breathed in through the nose via a small soft nose hood. This is a similar technique to ‘gas and air’ used for pregnant woman during labour. This is an extremely safe technique that reduces the sensation of pain and anxiety and creates a semi-hypnotic state for patients to make them feel happy and comfortable. Patients will be aware of everything that is going on around them during the procedure but will be more relaxed. Although patients are sedated during the procedure, recovery is fast. Most patients will feel totally awake and in control within fifteen minutes of stopping the inhalation procedure.
This treatment is suitable for both children and adults.
Intravenous conscious sedation
This is the most commonly used technique for adult patients who are generally fit and well. It is usually delivered via a small plastic tube in the back of the hand or arm. A sedative medication called midazolam is given through the tube and the amount required is tailored to each patient. For patients who are anxious about needles we sometimes advise using inhalation conscious sedation to relax them and provide some pain relief prior to the injection. We can also use EMLA cream or freeze spray to numb the back of the hand in advance.
Most patients receiving intravenous conscious sedation are more deeply sedated compared with inhalation conscious sedation and many patients will not remember the procedure, although they are still awake. This technique is ideal for highly anxious patients who need prolonged or more invasive procedures including the treatment of multiple teeth.
This treatment is available to patients who are aged 12 years and over, where appropriate.
Whilst the majority of patients find conscious sedation effective to help them alleviate their anxieties, some adults remain severely anxious and are unable to cope with standard or advanced conscious sedation techniques. By working in partnership with a local hospital, Queensway offers a hospital-based general anaesthetic service allowing patients to be put to sleep to undergo their essential dental treatment.
General anaesthetic, or GA, is a type of anaesthesia. Anaesthetic is medication that causes loss of sensation and consciousness. It is used to give pain relief during treatment. Surgery can then be carried out without causing any pain or discomfort, as you will be unaware of what is happening.
This treatment is available to patients who are aged 12 years and over, but only when absolutely necessary.
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We offer all new patients a free consultation with a dentist to allow you to find out more about the treatment options available.