Sedation Dentistry At Abbey Road Dental, St John’s Wood
Sedation : feel fully relaxed at the dentist
If you feel cold and slightly clammy at the thought of going to the dentist you aren’t alone. Many people have a true dental phobia, or at the very least enough anxiety to cause a visit to feel really unpleasant.
In some instances patients may simply avoid the dentist altogether because they have anxiety at such a level that it’s enough to stop them getting treatment at all.
For patients who truly struggle with dental anxiety, where perhaps positive exposure therapy has failed in the past, sedation dentistry could be the answer. Sedation can be used for any procedure, from routine examinations to more detailed procedures like placing implants.
At Abbey Road Dental we want our patients to know that they do have options if they struggle with anxiety.
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety can be caused by a wide range of incidents, thought processes or issues. Each and every patient is unique in their individual reasons for feeling this way.
However, there are common root causes of dental fear such as:
- A traumatic early dental experience
- An idea that dentistry now is as it was a long time ago
- A fear of pain
- Embarrassment about judgement
- Worry about cost
- A phobia that it will be very painful
- Dentist noise phobia
- A fear of needles
Sometimes patients have learnt their phobia from a parent, which can become apparent when the person has no negative experience of the surgery themselves.
Often an anxiety turns into a phobia as the issue builds in the mind and it gets worse and worse, the longer the issue is not resolved. For some people, the issue is so strong that they simply avoid dental treatment for years and years. This not only makes the phobia worse but it can cause oral health to deteriorate and the treatment needed may be more extensive than if help had been sought at an earlier time.
Sedation Dentistry And What It Involves
Sedation dentistry is where medication is used to help you relax during your visit to us. Some patients will use it for detailed procedures like root canal therapy. Others will use it just to come in for an examination. Everybody is different. It is important to know that it does not involve you going to sleep. Rather, you will be awake, just very relaxed. We do not offer general anaesthetic for dentistry within our clinic.
In general there are two different types of sedation available in the form of gas or oral sedation. With sedation via gas you have the same kind of gas that is given during childbirth. It is inhaled through a mask over your nose and wears off quickly after the mask is taken away. There is also oral sedation where you have a dose of medicine which can sedate you to different levels depending on your level of anxiety. Most people have a mild sedative which promotes complete relaxation, although in some instances enough sedation for you not to remember the procedure can be useful.
There is also something called IV sedation where a sedative is provided via a drip throughout your treatment.
Sedation May Not Always Be Suitable
Sedation dentistry is not always available and is not a standard part of dentistry at our NW8 clinic. It is something that can be offered but it is not a standard aspect of treatment. If you have no anxiety and feel happy with your dental treatments we are unlikely to offer sedation. For this reason you may wish to speak to us about sedation dentistry. In some instances where sedation is not offered by us, your doctor may be able to help with a one off prescription of a pill to help you relax. They may do this for people with a fear of the dentist or for example a fear of flying, to help them get through the event itself.
Sedation Won’t Cure A Phobia
Sedation dentistry can be extremely useful for getting you through the doors of the clinic and through the treatment. However, at Abbey Road Dental we strongly believe in helping our patients with anxiety work through their fear where possible. We don’t want you to feel you have to have sedation to get necessary checks and treatment done.
We are more than happy to work with you to get through your anxiety if we can. We are happy to facilitate appointments where you don’t have to even sit in the surgery chair or have an examination if you aren’t ready. You could come and sit in the waiting room or just chat to a dentist. Please don’t be afraid to speak to us about your needs so that we can support you getting over your anxiety for good.
For those with deep-seated phobias, we recommend you consider therapy which you can source privately or through your local GP services.
On The Day
If you do decide to have sedation dentistry then it is important to know that there are some extra considerations for your appointment. Most of the time we do require that you have somebody with you to help you get home after the appointment. You usually can’t drive on the day. This may be something to consider if you will it difficult to get help getting home without driving.
What Happens Next?
If you have dental anxiety, the first thing we would ask you to do is to reach out to us. If phoning is too much, please have a friend call us, or contact us through our online form. We are trained and experienced with helping those with phobias because it is so common in our industry.
The first step is getting in touch. From that point we can help create a plan to help you get the dental care you need. It might start with a visit to the waiting room, it might start with sedation to come for an examination, it all depends on the individual. You’re not just a number to us and we always treat our patients as unique individuals.
Please call our friendly team on 02076241603 or use our online contact form. We are here to help you get the dental care that you deserve!