Ease your Dental Fears with Oral Sedation

Conscious Sedation Drugs We Use For Nervous Patients

It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. In fact, more than 10 million adults in the UK experience some level of dental anxiety, with six million patients suffering from dental phobia.

So, if you fear the dentist and avoid certain dental treatments because of it, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Luckily, there are a few sedation options and drugs that certain dentists can recommend and prescribe to help make the entire experience calmer and more relaxed without putting you under.

First, what is conscious sedation?

Sedation in itself can sound like a scary word.

But conscious sedation describes the method of relieving dental anxiety, using safe, sedative drugs that keep the patient awake but make them less aware of the procedure and relieve them of the memory of what happened afterwards.

Different to general anaesthesia, conscious sedation will keep you conscious rather than knocking you out to help get you through longer, more extensive dental procedures like dental implant surgery, for example.


Types of conscious sedation

Oral sedation

The dentist will give you a sedative in pill form about an hour before the procedure begins. It won’t knock you out like some form of anaesthesia, and you will remain awake during the procedure but instead will feel in a heightened state of relaxation. It’s also possible with oral sedation that you will not remember part or any of the procedure nor feel any pain. Oral sedation is safe to use.

IV sedation

Intravenous sedation is a type of anaesthesia given through a tube placed in the vein. Also referred to as moderate or deep sedation, IV sedation causes drowsiness and helps patients feel deeply relaxed. While the method does not put you to sleep fully, it’s more useful in surgical dental procedures. In the UK, the drug typically used for IV sedation is a benzodiazepine midazolam.

Inhalation sedation

A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which is breathed through a nosepiece, is one of the lightest forms of sedation. It might sound more familiar to you as gas and air or laughing gas. It helps reduce fear and anxiety and will induce happiness and relaxation. Still a form of conscious sedation, inhalation sedation inhales drugs to depress the central nervous system.

Which sedation method is right for you?

IV sedation typically works the best; however, if you’re a phobic patient, you might also be fearful of needles, and seeing as a cannula is inserted either into the hand or arm here, you might find it difficult to face. It’s quick and easy, and we can help ease your fears while administering the medication.

If it’s too much for you, you might want to consider oral sedation, which is easier to administer and is something you can take yourself an hour before the procedure begins.

Before scheduling your procedure, you’ll speak to one of our dentists to determine which type of drug will be the best for your situation and what route of administration or dose will be required during your treatment. It’s important to remember that with any sedative, patients must be accompanied home by a responsible adult.