0117 450 2991


September 14, 2023


September 14, 2023

633eb2bb3285f07a09e057e9_BDS - Ask us about sedation-p-800



October 6, 2022

Who really truly loves sitting in the dental chair and having their teeth looked at, drilled, or even pulled out!? I am an oral surgeon who is used to dental treatment and my answer to this question would be “not me!”. There is something about dental treatment that feels different to any other health care. Perhaps it’s those injection needles, drills, or just the thought of being in a dental setting – something about dentistry can trigger anxiety or sometimes even irrational fear for a lot of people. It’s not infrequent that I hear people say, shortly after walking into the surgery: “I would rather give birth than have a tooth extraction” – thanks to sedation techniques though, the vast majority of our patients walk out of the surgery saying “actually, it was fine!”.

Bosun Hong

Specialist Oral Surgeon

What is sedation and what to expect from it?

Sedation is a technique whereby a sedative drug is given to help people relax. It is important to note that sedation is different to general anaesthesia. With sedation, you will stay awake but feel drowsy and much less aware of what is happening around you. The sedative drugs will not have the ability to numb the teeth, so a dental injection is still necessary. However, you will be in a much more relaxed state before numbing of the teeth is carried out.

With some types of sedation (for example injection of a sedative drug called midazolam through the vein) people often don’t remember much of what happened during treatment. This is because of the effect of the sedative drug and most patients don’t seem to mind this at all. The sedative drugs used in dental settings have excellent safety margins, recovery is much quicker with sedation compared to general anaesthesia and our waiting list for sedation is much shorter than the hospital waiting list for general anaesthesia.

Sedation Options

There are a number of ways in which a sedative drug can be delivered. At Bristol Dental Specialists, you might be suitable for sedation:
• by breathing in gas through a nosepiece (inhalation)

• by injection into a vein in their hand or arm (intravenous)

• by swallowing a medicine (oral)

We can agree on which of these methods would work best for you when we meet face-to-face for a pre-treatment consultation. To reach a decision about the optimal sedation option, we would consider factors including the level of your dental anxiety, the length of the planned dental treatment, medical history, and social circumstances.

Can children and teenagers have sedation?

The short answer is yes, but some sedation methods (for example intravenous) tend to be reserved for older teenagers or adults. As a rule, for people aged under 12 years old, the choice of sedation method would be inhalation sedation. The physical and mental development of every person varies and may not always correlate with their chronological age. At Bristol Dental Specialists, we make a bespoke anxiety control plan after individual assessment of psychological and physical maturity and with consideration to the risks.

Questions? Please contact us

The majority of our patients with dental anxiety become relaxed enough with the help of sedation and are then able to receive dental treatment that they often thought they never could. We would love to welcome you to our practice for sedation consultation, read more about this service on our website.

If you are a dentist looking to refer a patient, you can be assured that they will be in safe hands. Our simple online referral forms can be found here. Alternatively, as an introduction to our services, we are also able to offer a free initial video consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.

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#nervous patients

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#dental anxiety

Opening Hours

Monday       8.00am – 7.00pm
Tuesday       8.00am – 7.00pm
Wednesday 8.00am – 6.00pm
Thursday     8.00am – 6.00pm
Friday          8.00am – 2.00pm
Saturday     By arrangement only
Sunday        Closed

Contact us

Bristol Dental Specialists
24 Berkeley Square,

Phone: 0117 450 2991

Bristol Dental Specialists Ltd Registered in England & Wales company number 11696017

Bristol Dental Specialists, 24 Berkeley Square, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS8 1HP. Telephone 0117 450 6666. Bristol Dental Specialists Ltd trading as Bristol Dental Specialists is a credit broker not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 914167. Registered in England & Wales 11696017. Registered Address: 24 Berkeley Square, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS8 1HP.

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