If it has been a while since you visited the dentist or you are very nervous, please don’t worry; you are not the first. We are more concerned with getting your dental care back on track rather than what has happened in the past. You need to know that we are known for treating very anxious and nervous patients and rebuilding their confidence at MK Smiles.
For anxious or nervous patients, take your time and bring someone along if needed. The initial patient consultation is designed to give you time to get comfortable with us as a practice and get to know your dentist and their dental nurse.
Dentists at MK Smiles have a few tips for you to help ease the fear :
- Visit the dental surgery to look around, meet the receptionist and dentist and see the environment. Tell the dentist you’re anxious and your concern, so they know beforehand.
- Pick an appointment early in the morning, so you have less time to dwell on it.
- The first appointment will be a check-up, so don’t worry about having any treatment. See this first visit as your chance to get to know the dentist.
- Take a friend with you to your appointment. Dentists at MK Smiles won’t mind if they accompany you throughout the check-up or treatment.
- Agree on a sign with the dentist to signal that you need a break and want them to stop. It can be as simple as pointing your finger and will help you feel more in control.
- If you think it will help, start gradually with a clean and polish, and work up to other treatments, such as fillings, once you’ve built trust and rapport with your dentist.
- Talk to the dentist about using a numbing gel if you fear needles.
- Use headphones to listen to music during your visit. It may help you relax.
Give us a try and come and meet our friendly team by calling us on 01234 352 372
We can help nervous and anxious patients with sedation
Being ‘afraid of the dentist’ means different things to different people; we know some people have had bad experiences.
We at MK Smiles have a great dental team who are used to caring for anxious patients, and we understand how you are feeling and are here to help.
Why not give us a try and come in for just a chat to meet our friendly team?
We will listen and not rush you, and more importantly, we will do whatever we can to help you dentally fit at your own pace.
In addition, we offer IV sedation for patients who prefer not to experience some dental treatments fully. If you are looking for safe and effective dental sedation, our specialist sedation team can help you relax.
Commonly asked questions
– What is the difference between general anaesthesia and IV sedation?
General anaesthesia is when the patient is entirely unconscious, but dentists and doctors try and shy away from this if possible. During IV sedation, the patients are conscious but unaware of any pain and have none or minimal recollection of the dental procedure. This technique is safe when carried out by well-trained sedation and their team in appropriate surroundings. With sedation, the patient breathes for themselves and does not suffer the ill effects of GA, nausea, muscle pains, sore nose, and throat. There is also an element of amnesia. Thus, the patient has a more relaxed experience afterwards.
– What is IV sedation?
Intravenous” means that the drug is put into a vein. An ultra-thin cannula is placed into a vein near the skin’s surface, either in the arm or the back of your hand.
The anti-anxiety drug used is Midazolam, chosen because it is a short-acting benzodiazepine.
Pulse and oxygen levels are measured throughout the procedure using a “pulse oximeter”. This gadget clips onto a finger and measures pulse and oxygen saturation. It gives an audible early warning sign if you’re getting too low on oxygen, although if your dentist and the nurses are paying attention, they should see it way before the machine does. Blood pressure before and after the procedure should be checked with a blood pressure measuring device.
– What do I feel during the treatment?
You can hear things as verbal contact must be maintained – per the GDC definition of conscious sedation. If we ask you to take a deep breath, you will respond, but you will not remember this, and none of what is occurring will worry or trouble you. You may not be able to see anything as we cover your eyes with protective glasses. Your mouth is numbed up as usual in the dental surgery, but you will not be able to recall this happening, and the dental treatment will proceed while your teeth and gums are completely numb, so you won’t be able to feel anything.
– Is it safe? Are there any contraindications?
IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist. Purely statistically speaking, it’s even safer than local anaesthetic alone!
However, contraindications include the following:
- Known allergy to benzodiazepines.
- Alcohol intoxication.
- CNS depression.
- Some instances of glaucoma.
Heart disease is generally not a contraindication.
– How long is recovery?
This depends mainly on the amount of sedation and the amount of dental work that you have received. This also depends on your metabolism of the sedative drugs used in your sedation. Typically most patients have left the premises within 45 minutes of going into our recovery facility, where a trained nurse will supervise your recovery and give you your postoperative instructions. You will need a chaperone to escort you home after the treatment.
– What will I remember?
You might have little or no recollection of the procedure for two reasons:
- IV sedation induces deep relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what’s happening.
- The drugs used for IV sedation produce either partial or complete memory loss (amnesia) when the drug first kicks in until it wears off. This effect is that time seems to go by quickly, and you have very little recollection of what has just occurred. Many patients remember none of the proceedings, which suggests that there was a period of sleeping during the procedure.
After a sedation consultation, your experienced dentist will talk you through the process and give you a bespoke quote for your treatment. It would be best if you felt comfortable with your dental team, so we ask that you come and visit the practice several times until you are ready.
Call us to book a sedation consultation or book online for an examination with one of our dentists, or have a friendly chat with our treatment coordinator for more information.