Conscious or intravenous Sedation for Anxious Patients
Sedation in dentistry takes many forms, ranging from the use of “Happy gas” to intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation. Sedative and analgesic drugs are administered by specially trained, Board registered dentists to achieve a relaxed dream-like state making your visit more pleasurable.
During Conscious Sedation, you are still breathing yourself, however the combination of medications administered produces an amnesic effect, meaning you have no memory of the procedure. It is an enjoyable way to have dental procedures performed.
Dr Ian Sweeney and Dr Emma Black combining the latest techniques with 20 years of experience have treated many thousands of patients under sedation within their purpose build facility. This experience makes the team at Northside Dental one of the most experienced sedation practices in Sydney, with their skills being utilised by many referring dental practitioners and teaching hospitals.
Throughout your appointment the friendly staff will constantly monitor your level of sedation, achieving the perfect level for you and the type of procedure being performed.
Due to the safe and effective nature of sedation, it is ideal for patients with:
- Anxiety or Dental Phobia
- Severe Gag reflexes.
- Fear of Pain
- Complex dental requirements.
- A history of past traumatic dental experiences.
- Special Needs Patients.
Patients who avoid dental treatment for any reason often suffer more damage through dental disease due to the delay in treatment. Sedation not only helps patients to undergo procedures, it also helps dentists to deliver the highest quality work on a cooperative and relaxed patient.
The unsurpassed level of care and monitoring at Northside Dental and Northside Sedation Centre has helped many patients to overcome a lifelong fear of dentistry.
Types of Sedation
Also known as “Happy Gas”, nitrous oxide has been used for many years for dental procedures. Nitrous oxide gas is inhaled taking a few minutes for the patients to become relaxed and comfortable with a reduced level of anxiety. Once a procedure is complete, the effects of nitrous oxide is immediately reversible with no lasting drowsiness.
Medications are administered intravenously into a vein in the arm. Sedated patients are still “awake” and able to breathe themselves, even respond to questions, however, one of the medications used has an amnesic effect, and thus patients have no memory of the procedure.
Only board registered dentists or anaesthetists are permitted to administer intravenous sedation in a dental practice. Northside Dental and Implant Centre have 20 years of experience in sedating patients and enjoy a state wide referral base.
Should a patients fear or medical conditions preclude them from undergoing sedation procedures, treatment under General Anaesthetic will be offered.
The GAG reflex and dentistry.
There are many patients with a hyperactive gag reflex who fear a trip to the dentist because of the unpleasant experience associated with gagging. For these patients, having a basic clean or intra-oral x-rays taken can be especially traumatic. People who have a severe gag reflex can often find it impossible to clean their own teeth adequately.
The gag reflex is a protective mechanism designed to prevent something blocking the throat by pushing it back up to protect the airway.
There is no clear reason why some patients have a hyperactive gag reflex while others do not. It is thought to be a combination of anatomical factors, constricted airways, and possibly psychological and anxiety related phenomenon. It may be due to a feeling of panic, or a sensation that there is some threat to a patients breathing. People who have experienced a near drowning or suffocation often feel their gag reflex was heightened following the event.
There have been many different methods of treatment tried over the years to help reduce the effects of a severe gag reflex during a dental visit. Some techniques that may help include:
- The use of topical or local anaesthetics such as throat sprays with a numbing action.
- Salt placed on the back of the tongue (thought to have limited success by some patients).
- Distraction by the patient including; focusing on a pleasant event while taking deep breaths through the nose, listening to music, anything to take their mind off what is happening.
- Sedation or even general anaesthesia in extreme situations.
By far the most predictable method for providing dental treatment for a patient with a hyperactive gag reflex is with the aid of some sedation. Sedation using “happy gas” or “intravenous sedation” are the types most commonly used. Conscious sedation involves the administration of some sedative agents that relax the patient enough to by-pass the gag reflex. The patient is always conscious (as opposed to being unconscious in a hospital for a general anaesthetic). When administered in an accredited dental facility, the procedure can be most rewarding for the patient and dentist alike.
If you suffer from a bad gag reflex in the dentist’s chair, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Patients who have avoided dental treatment for many years are now able to be successfully treated, without being made to feel uncomfortable. Please discuss your treatment options with a dentist.
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Why Choose Northside Dental
Your professional dentist who really cares about your smile.60
QIP Accredited: High standard of infection control and sterilisation
25 Years Experience in Dental Implants
Friendly. Empathy. Compassion
We specialise in the treatment of anxious or phobic patients
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