Are you nervous or scared about undergoing dental treatment? Intravenous sedation can help you conquer your fear
Fear of the dentist may be a result of a bad dental experience as a child or adult. Otherwise, it may just be a phobia: some people are afraid of spiders or confined spaces. So, there’s nothing wrong with being afraid of the idea of going to the dentist and in most cases intravenous sedation can help overcome these fears.
Irrespective of what the cause, fear or anxiety is very real and needs to be managed in an empathetic, understanding and non-judgemental manner. Many of our patients find that while they could cope with being nervous when they were younger, as they become middle-aged their anxiety levels increase. Generally, this makes the idea of getting dental treatment harder to tolerate.
How NQ Surgical Dentistry helps anxious patients
At our Townsville practice our first rule in treating nervous, anxious or phobic patients is to avoid being judgemental and to be understanding and supportive.
Initially we obtain a thorough history that will involve a record of how the anxiety first began noting all the various factors which may have played a part in their current dental health. It is also important that a thorough medical history is recorded including a list of all medications, supplements and natural health care remedies.
The nature of your anxiety will be investigated to see if there is anything specific we can do to make your management simple and cause less anxiety. This may involve any or all of the following:
- careful patient management
- avoidance of certain equipment
- use of topical anaesthetic gel before injections
- thorough explanations
For some patients the only way dental treatment can be faced is under sedation.
What does Sedation Dentistry involve?
Conscious sedation can be provided in three forms: oral sedation, inhalation sedation and intravenous sedation. Oral sedation involves the ingestion of sedative tablets before the dental appointment. The absorption of sedatives orally is unreliable and how much an individual patient requires in often very difficult to calculate. Having said this, oral sedation is usually successful for some nervous patients.
Inhalation sedation requires the patient to breathe through a small nasal mask that covers only the nose. A combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide is inhaled with the concentration of nitrous oxide varied depending on the sedative effect achieved. Because of the nature of this form of sedation it is often only used for simple treatments such as fillings.
The third form of conscious sedation is intravenous sedation. This is the term for the injection of sedation drugs. Intravenous sedation is a much more efficient form of sedation when compared to the other two forms of conscious sedation. Intravenous sedation allows for more detailed and dependable control of the level of sedation achieved.
At NQ Surgical Dentistry, we provide intravenous sedation in a safe and effective manner and conform to the regulations and guidelines governing the use of sedation (as laid down by the Austalian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists). Dr Colin Priestland is endorced by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to provide intravenous sedation. This endorsement confirms that he has attended and passed annual training and examination in intravenous sedation and the management of medical emergencies that may be associated with the practice of sedation.
Dr Colin Priestland has provided intravenous sedation since 1986. He works with two sedation nurses; one a clinical intensive care nurse of 25 years experience and the other an experienced anaesthetic nurses holding a Diploma in Anaesthetics and Recovery. Together they offer full patient monitoring (pulse oximeter, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring and capnography) throughout the sedation procedure.
The practice facilities have been assessed including the equipment, emergency drugs, staff training and is accredited for the provision of in-practice intravenous sedation for the conduct of dental surgery. Dr Colin Priestland is a member of the Australasian Society of Dental Anaesthesiology and conforms to their guidelines for practice.
If you have a fear of the dentist, please call us on (07) 4725 1656 and our friendly team will discuss your options with you before inviting you to visit our comfortable and relaxing practice to discuss your problem.