Safe and effective sedation for dental anxiety

Nervous patients are welcome

If you’ve had a bad experience at the dentist in the past, we understand why you might be reluctant to come and see us. But at Clyde Munro, there really is nothing to fear. We continually invest in technology that makes treatment faster and more comfortable than ever – plus, our dental teams across Scotland are trained in a range of methods to help with dental anxiety. Come and see us and let us get you back on the path to great oral health.

Conscious or IV sedation

An excellent option for nervous or anxious patients, or indeed for anyone who requires reassurance with lengthy or complex treatments, is conscious or intravenous (IV) sedation. Clyde Munro is delighted to be able to offer conscious sedation as an alternative to local anaesthetic to our patients. This method combines sedative, to make you relaxed and drowsy, with analgesic (painkiller) and anaesthetic. The combined effect of these three elements allows you to undergo your treatment in an induced state of relaxation and to leave with very little memory of the procedure afterwards.

Relax in the chair

Also known as gas & air, laughing gas or happy air, inhalation sedation is a tried and tested method of reducing pain and anxiety. Consisting of a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, inhaled through a nosepiece, inhalation sedation is safe and non-allergic, creating feelings of contentment, relaxation and sleepiness. It’s a great way to prepare patients for a local anaesthetic, among other procedures. After treatment has been completed, you will only need to breathe regular air for a few minutes before the effects of nitrous oxide wear off. Nitrous oxide not only raises the pain threshold but makes the time feel as though it passes more quickly.

How is conscious sedation different to general or local anaesthetic?

Conscious sedation bridges the divide between local and general anaesthetic. You won’t be completely unconscious, as with a general, but you’ll be in a state of deep, sleepy relaxation that means you’ll have very little awareness or memory of your dental procedure. The dentist will, however, be able to rouse you if required, to answer questions, for example.

If I’m conscious, won’t I will still feel anxiety about my treatment?

No. The drugs used for conscious sedation induce a state of deep relaxation. Patients generally feel as though they’re sleeping. Conscious sedation also has an amnesiac effect, so patients rarely remember anything about their dental procedure and believe they slept through it all.

How long does it take for the effects of IV sedation to wear off?

In most cases the dentist will ensure you spend up 30 minutes in recovery after your procedure. The full effects of conscious sedation take 24 hours to wear off, so you’ll likely feel groggy for a time and you’ll need to arrange for an escort to drive you home and for someone to be with you at home until the effects have worn off.  You won’t be able to operate electrical machinery, cook, use sharp implements or make any critical decisions during this time.

Is inhalation sedation safe?

Inhalation sedation is remarkably safe and is rarely associated with adverse effects. Inhalation sedation uses a combination of nitrous oxide (N2O) and oxygen (O2) and has been described as representing the most ‘ideal’ clinical sedative experience because it has no lasting effects. Before nitrous oxide is administered, we recommend you don’t eat for a couple of hours before treatment; sometimes inhalation sedation can induce a feeling of nausea – however, there are no other negative side effects.

What are the benefits of inhalation sedation?

Inhalation sedation starts working within seconds, and the depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment. Unlike with IV sedation, which is easy to deepen but difficult to lessen, the effects of inhalation sedation are almost instant. Another benefit is that, unlike IV sedation, you can drive home after treatment, don’t need a chaperone at the treatment appointment and could go back to work.

Will I experience a headache after inhalation sedation?

No – the gas is eliminated from the body within 3-5 minutes after the supply is turned off. Recovery is extremely quick, and adult patients can safely drive home afterwards, without an escort.

Interested in sedation?

Send us a message and your local practice will contact you!