Conscious Sedation

Sedation for Nervous Dental Patients in Harley Street

It isn’t unnatural to be afraid of having a dental procedure; in fact around one in five of us in the UK have this fear, which is a large percentage. Very often this is based either on an irrational fear of what ‘might’ happen, or on an actual experience, usually from childhood.

Whilst most people, if not actually overcoming this fear, do manage to battle their way through it and keep up regular visits to the dentists, the reality is that many do not. Although for them, the experience may be frightening, it will do more harm to their health by not going and is very likely to end in more drastic treatment being needed than would have been if they had managed to maintain regular check ups.

For some people, even this risk is one that they feel worth taking and can be said to be a ‘head in the sand’ approach. What may have resulted in a minor filling if spotted in time, may well lead to an extraction and possibly infections and abscesses if not treated at the time.

Thankfully, our Harley Street dental practice now offers a much better experience for those nervous of dentists. Our dental team is sensitive to dental phobia and more attuned to the individual patient’s needs and fears. Our practice is designed with soothing and relaxing colours with background music and other relaxing accessories to help put you at ease.

These factors offer a great help for those whose fear is relatively minor, but what about those who veer more towards the ‘terrified’ end of the fear spectrum?  For these people, no amount of soothing music is likely to help and these sufferers may be offered conscious sedation which enables them to relax yet stay awake during the procedure.

This sedation is usually administered into the back of the hand intravenously.  Shortly afterwards, the patient will feel slightly ‘woozy’ and will barely be aware of time passing. So although a procedure may take twenty minutes or more, to the patient it will feel like seconds. Of course, once sedated, a local anaesthetic will also be administered into the gum area surrounding the tooth to be worked on to eradicate any pain. Because many people’s main fear is a fear of the needle, conscious sedation works to enable this to be done too.

This is a very effective way of ensuring that a patient keeps up a good oral health check up regime and ensures a much more pleasant experience which makes it easier to return next time.

It is important of course, if having conscious sedation, to make sure that you have someone with you to drive you home as you are likely to feel a little woozy for a short period afterwards and would not be safe to drive yourself home.

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