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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

Dental anxiety and how our dentist uses IV sedation

Dental anxieties can easily be brushed under the carpet and ignored in everyday life. The time will come when an accident, sudden discomfort or unexpected bleeding will make the trip to a dental team urgent to say the least.

When you have dental anxiety, having to thrust yourself into the middle of a dental surgery to resolve an emergency is not a pleasant experience. We understand this at our dentist in Richmond and can help mitigate some of the issues with IV sedation.

When is it usually used?

IV sedation developed to allow long and relatively invasive procedures to be carried out in the clinic, procedures that would have traditionally required full anaesthetic in an operating theatre, like dental implants and other minor forms of maxillofacial surgery.

There has been a trend in the development of dental anaesthesia to move away from general sedation towards more localised effects. The nitrous oxide of gas and air was phased out and replaced with lidocaine and novocaine, both of which are local numbing agents which have little to no effect on the central nervous system. This makes them much safer and allows communication to be maintained through procedures. The disadvantage of this is it lacks a calming effect or a sedation that anxious patients really do require in order to actively engage in healthcare at our dentist in Richmond.

Benefit and risk management

For those with severe dental anxiety the delay in receiving dental care, putting off treatment to the last possible moment and even not attending regular check-ups, has a really severe overall effect. We consider this when trying to see the benefits and risks of IV sedation. We are willing to offer it with a wide range of procedures, that it would not normally be considered necessary for, to facilitate necessary care to those who would otherwise avoid treatment.

What is it like?

IV sedation comes on very quickly; it is administered usually through the vein in the arm. Under the effects of sedation, patients become very calm and compliant, so you will respond to requests of being asked to stand up or sit down or to state your name. It is important if you are undergoing IV sedation that you have a trusted escort, as during this time you will be highly suggestible.

After the procedure you have no memory of the events and during it experience no discomfort. This allows you to move away from processing unpleasant memories of the dental procedure, and instead will help you to associate the procedure with a lack or reduction of dental discomfort, and with also feeling relaxed. Both of these are beneficial if you have encountered uncomfortable dental care in the past, or if your phobia is extreme.

If your family members do suffer with dental anxieties, we strongly suggest you begin to look into them before having a dental emergency. But if you are in need of care please, feel free to get in contact with our dentist in Richmond and we will endeavour to make your time with us as comfortable as possible.


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