Dental phobia affects approximately one in six Australian adults and one in ten children. For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety.
There are three options we offer at Queen Street Dental to patients who are anxious, have dental phobias or have gagging issues. These are only offered following consultation with the patient with their dentist and/or anaesthetist, to assess their suitability for treatment under sedation at Queen Street Dental.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," although that's not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake, with the exception of those who are under general anaesthesia.
What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?
The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:
Inhaled minimal sedation You breathe nitrous oxide - otherwise known as "laughing gas" - combined with oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Conscious sedation You receive the sedative drug through a cannula, so you will feel the effects more quickly. Throughout the appointment you will remain conscious and able to follow instructions but will be largely unaware of what is happening throughout the appointment. Following the appointment, you will have little to no recollection of the treatment.
General anaesthesia You will be administered medications that will make you unconscious during the procedure. You will have no recollection of the procedure itself, after waking.
Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you'll also typically need a local anaesthetic (numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth), to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.
Pre & Post-Operative Instructions
There are pre and post-operative instructions that must be followed for patients undergoing an appointment under sedation or general anaesthetic at Queen Street Dental
No food or drink for 6 hours prior to the procedure, exception of small amounts of water up to two hours prior
Take regular medication as normal
The patient is required to be escorted home by a responsible adult in a private vehicle. They may not drive or take public transport, even with an escort.
We understand how coming to the dentist can be for some people and we aim to have you feel as comfortable as possible while you are in our care. We want your experience to be one that gives you the confidence to continue coming to the dentist without fear, knowing you will be in safe hands.