Many people are nervous or anxious about visiting and being treated by the dentist. Fortunately there are a number of techniques available to help these patients. These include inhalation sedation, intravenous sedation and general anaesthetic.
The most common technique is the use of a nitrous oxide and oxygen mix or the so-called 'laughing gas'. The Nitrous Oxide mixture -
Patients will often experience a feeling of well-being and euphoria.
The technique involves placing a mask over your nose, and then breathing through your nose.
The gases have a slightly sweet smell and are well tolerated by even the most sensitive noses. The dentist will adjust the percentage of nitrous oxide to oxygen to suit you.
What are the advantages of Inhalation sedation?
The technique has a number of advantages over other techniques:
Unfortunately the technique is not suitable for all. Some anxious and phobic people require a deeper form of sedation. In general, pregnant women should not receive inhalation sedation. People with nasal obstructions and mouth breathers may also find this method unsuitable.
For people who require a greater degree of sedation, or if the procedure is of a nature that requires the patient to be sedated, intravenous sedation may be suitable. With this technique a sedative is injected into a vein in the arm by a qualified anaesthetist.
What are the advantages of Intravenous sedation?
The advantages are:
The "ultimate" technique for the phobic patient is for the patient to be completely anaesthetised by an anaesthetist at a hospital / day surgery.