Sedation & Nervous Patients
What is intravenous sedation?
Intravenous sedation is when a sedative (sedation medicine) is injected into your bloodstream (vein) through a drip (tube) to relax you. ‘Sedationist’ is the name given to the healthcare professional who does this. They are trained in giving the right amount of sedative and managing any side effects.
Conscious sedation– the sedationist will give you a sedative so you will feel very relaxed and drowsy. Importantly though, your sedationist can still talk with you and you will still be able to follow simple instructions. You may remember some parts of your treatment. Moderate sedation should not affect your breathing.
Who decides whether I can have sedation?
You can discuss the option of sedation with your dentist at the time of assessment. If it hasn’t been offered, you can always ask to see if it is possible to have it. If you are at higher risk from existing medical conditions, your dentist will discuss the options with you and you can reach a decision together. There are a few dentists in the practice that offer this service. It is offered on a private basis only and subject to suitability.
What is Relative Analgesia (RA)?
Relative analgesia has been known by a number of names: laughing gas, inhalation sedation, happy gas, gas and air, Nitrous Oxide – Oxygen.
Nitrous Oxide is simply a gas which you can breathe in, it has no colour or smell and is non-irritant. In relative analgesia it is used in combination with Oxygen. It is simply breathed in and out through a nasal mask. The concentration of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen is carefully titrated until the correct level of sedation is achieved.
Local anaesthetic is used in the mouth during the relative analgesia to ensure your dental treatment is carried out painlessly and for your post-operative comfort.
The patient will initially feel a sense of light headedness, followed by a tingling sensation, especially in the arms and legs, this followed by a ‘warm’ feeling and then a sense of well-being, euphoria or floating. You are able to speak and communicate with the dentist throughout the procedure. The dentist will be regularly asking you ‘how do you feel?’ If at any time you experience unpleasantness, you are able to inform the dentist and the concentrations can be adjusted.
This is a very safe procedure and suitable for children over the age of 5yrs, young adults and adults who are anxious about dentistry. Children under the age of 5yrs should be referred to a hospital setting as recommended by the NHS.
Most general dental procedures can be carried out using Relative Analgesia.