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Sedation

Dental anxiety is a common problem and we understand that many patients can feel nervous at dental appointments. We do all we can to help you feel comfortable and provide sedation services to ease any symptoms of anxiety among our patients.

How does it feel?

Sedation brings on a complete state of relaxation. However, unlike general anaesthetic, it does not make you lose consciousness. You will not experience any pain during treatment and it is likely that you will not remember much afterwards.

Will I still need local anaesthetic?

In most cases, we give patients local anaesthetic as well as sedative medication to ensure that you do not feel pain during the procedure. Sedative medication is designed to relax rather than relieve or prevent pain. If you have a phobia of needles or you are anxious about the injection, we can give the local anaesthetic after the sedative. Your Glasgow dentist will only start the procedure once the effects of the local anaesthetic have kicked in.

How is sedative given?

We use IV (intravenous) sedation that goes into your blood supply via a small tube inserted in a vein. In most cases, this is done in the back of the hand or the arm. Once the tube is in place the needle will be removed and the sedative passed into your vein.

Is the process safe?

The process is safe providing that it is administered by a trained expert. Many patients find that it is a great source of comfort when they are preparing to have treatment because it reduces anxiety and makes dental visits less stressful. If you have underlying health problems, an allergy or you are pregnant, you may be advised against having this form of sedation. We will determine if you are suitable during your consultation.

What drugs are used?

We use sedative drugs branded as short-acting benzodiazepines including Diazepam and Midazolam. These drugs have the effects of reducing anxiety, inducing tiredness and causing partial or complete loss of memory.

What are the benefits of sedation?

The major benefit is that it prevents patients from feeling nervous during dental visits. It is most beneficial for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia, but it can also benefit patients who have a sensitive gag reflex. Patients remain conscious throughout the procedure and they will be able to hear and communicate with their dentist.

What are the disadvantages?

IV sedation is safe and the vast majority of patients do not have any problems. However, as with all procedures, there is a risk of complications and we will outline all the risks before the procedure and answer any questions you may have. The most common complication, though still very rare, is a haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin).

After sedation a patient will be unable to drive and they may feel drowsy for some time. We advise patients to arrange for somebody to take them home and stay with them while the effects subside. It is a personal choice to have sedation and we will be happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you.

What happens afterwards?

Most people feel completely fine after treatment, but you will not be entirely alert and should not drive yourself home. Avoid drinking alcohol or doing anything strenuous for around 24 hours and try to stick to small meals and snacks.

If you experience nausea have a lie down and rest. If you still experience side-effects after 24 hours contact us.