Anxiety is a significant factor in dentistry. We now know that 12% percent of patients were shown to have extreme anxiety, over 33% were classified as having moderate anxiety, and less than half were relaxed about the prospect of dental treatment. We can also offer a sympathetic approach towards you spending more time and offering a more relaxed approach to treatment, but in addition to this we also have other treatment options available to you.
Dental phobia is a serious condition that affects a large proportion of the population that does not regularly see a dentist. Many people are so fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist that they let their oral health suffer as a result. Many dentists report that anxious patients often have problems with teeth and gums having untreated levels of dental disease and this being common place amongst anxious patients.
It is important to see a dentist regularly so that they can assess and deal with problems before they worsen and become irreversible (gum disease), painful dental abscesses or expensive. With modern dentistry, there are many techniques and methods to help overcome your anxieties and make your dental experience comfortable and even enjoyable!
There are several ways in which we will try to help you overcome your anxieties, and many things that you yourself can do. We offer several techniques to help anxious patients cope with having dental treatment.
- 1. Oral sedation – tablets / suspension by mouth.
- 2. Intravenous sedation – injecting the sedative directly into a vein.
This is a very simple technique. The patient takes the medication about 1 hour before treatment by mouth. We usually use 10mg of Temazepam, which is a benzodiazepine, related to the drug we use intravenously. The effect is usually successful, but absorption from the stomach is less predictable than by the intravenous route.
This is a more complex technique, but is very safe provided that the team have the correct training and experience.
At ProDent Care Dental Clinic, our specialized anaesthetists backed up by our wonderful staff have regular training in this procedure.
Even the most anxious patients can be successfully treated and will return quite confidently for further treatment.
A full explanation of the procedures involved – often something as simple as your dentist explaining how the procedure will be carried out step by step, or giving you the opportunity to ask questions, will relieve that fear of the unknown. It is important that your dentist explains things in non-technical, easy-to-understand language.
Sedation, both oral and intravenous, can be used to put you in a relaxed, dream-like state of mind. Dental Sedation is an effective treatment for very anxious patients.
Conscious sedation is a form of anxiety control that allows you to accept treatment more readily, or allows longer treatments to be performed in a comfortable manner. It is the modern alternative to general anaesthesia and is both safer and more pleasant. Below details the important points you must follow before and after treatment. Conscious sedation will make you feel sleepy and relaxed, most patients can remember little or nothing of the procedure. You will feel drowsy for up to 8 hours and you may sleep heavily following sedation. You may feel drowsy the following day. Once sedated a local anaesthetic will be used. Your mouth will feel numb for several hours after treatment and you should take care not to burn or bite yourself during this time. Following sedation you will be required to stay at the practice for a short time until the dental team is satisfied that you are safe to be accompanied home by a responsible adult.
Before Your Appointment
- do arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you home
- do remove contact lenses
- do remove all make-up (particularly lipstick and nail varnish)
- do remove jewellery & tie back long hair
- do continue to take routine medicines /tablets / pills (do tell us about all medicines and tablets you are taking)
- do tell the dental surgeon if you have been to your doctor or attended hospital since your appointment was made
- do wear loose fitting clothing
- do tell us if you are breast-feeding
- do not have anything to eat or drink for at least two hours before your appointment
- do not drink any alcohol on the day of treatment
- please do not bring any children with you.
After Your Treatment
- do rest for a few hours and take the rest of the day quietly
- do eat light and easily digestible food during the day
- do take medicines / tablet / pills that have been prescribed for you
- do NOT drive any vehicle, operate machinery, use cookers, kettles, and irons or make any business decisions on the same day as your treatment – your reflexes and judgement have been affected
- do not drink any form of alcohol until the following day.
If you do not understand any of these instructions or if there is anything making you feel apprehensive about your treatment please ask anyone of our staff.
We also offer treatment under general anaesthesia at any of the local hospitals.