Dental anxiety is actually very common and something we come across frequently in the dental profession. The condition, also known as dental phobia, commonly presents in older patients who may have had a negative experience when they were children that they have not been able to overcome in adulthood. While we always endeavour to walk every patient through the treatment process step by step, sometimes this is not enough to calm our most nervous patients.
At Drouin Dental, we offer a variety of sedation options for our most nervous patients, which can be safely administered at our clinic or in hospital for more severe cases. We administer three types of sedation for nervous patients – happy gas, IV sedation or general anaesthetic.
Happy Gas, or laughing gas involves inhalation of colourless, odourless N2O gas through a nose piece prior to treatment. Happy Gas has no effect on memory, is a non-irritant and reduces emotional centres in the brain that produce anxiety – which is ideal for nervous patients presenting for dental treatment.
IV Sedation is administered by a visiting anaesthetist for treatments such as wisdom teeth removal, implants, soft tissue or bone grafts, or a large number of fillings in one session. The patient is put to sleep in the dental chair, recovery time is quicker than general anaesthetic, and you will have no memory at all of your treatment once completed.
General Anaesthetic is administered at the local hospital day surgery unit only by an Anaesthetist supported by nursing staff. This option renders the patient completely unconscious for the entire duration of dental treatment.
It kills pain while producing a pleasurable feeling and it is extremely safe. It takes effect very rapidly and wears off completely after about two or three minutes.
If you don’t want to remember the procedure, then IV sedation is usually the sedation method of choice for healthy patients. The sedation acts very rapidly, and the level of sedation can be tailored to meet the individual’s needs. Benzodiazepines produce amnesia – you won’t remember the procedure even though you will be awake.