First and foremost, you are not alone; many people skip dental operations due to fear and worry. You can have mild to heavy dental anaesthetic provided during your surgery to help you relax. Your level of anxiety, the treatment you’ll be having, and your medical history may all play a role in determining the level of sedation that’s ideal for you.
There are typically three types of sedation available in New Zealand; inhalation, oral and intravenous.
You will be given nitrous oxide gas (commonly known as “laughing gas”) which you will breathe in through a tube-shaped device. This is a type of local anaesthesia that has a relaxing, sleepy, and tranquil effect but does not put you to sleep. During the treatment, you will still be able to respond to any questions the dentist may have. This is a great option for individuals who just need to relax, and you’ll be able to drive yourself home afterwards.
Oral sedation is a type of sedative that is taken as a tablet or a liquid. It’s usually administrated an hour before your surgery appointment. It lasts between 2 to 6 hours. This type of sedation helps calm your nerves down so you feel more relaxed and drowsier during your procedure. You will still be able to respond to questions from the dentist. Patients’ memory becomes a little foggy after the procedure, and someone must collect them afterwards as it is unsafe to drive.
For patients who are particularly worried or anxious, or for treatments that are more complex, IV sedation is indicated. As a result, the sedative impact is stronger than inhalation sedation. The sedative will be administered through a vein by a professional, ensuring that it acts rapidly and that the degree of sedation may be easily regulated. You will be completely relaxed during the operation, but you will still be capable of responding to your dentist. You may, however, have little recollection of it.
Is Sedation Safe?
When anaesthetic is delivered by experienced and well-qualified specialists, there is very little risk, thus it is usually safe. This is why, for treatments requiring IV sedation, we bring in a skilled anaesthetist. Our clients must be entirely honest with us about their medical history in order for the process to be as safe as possible.
While sedation may not be right for everyone, it could be the solution you’ve been looking for yourself or your family. If you have any of the following symptoms, sedation dentistry may be right for you.
- Dental anxiety
- Previous traumatic dental experiences
- Needle phobia
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
Call us today at Northcote Dental if you want to explore the idea of sedation for your next appointment!