In the UK, it’s estimated that around half of adults are frightened of the dentist. In some cases, this phobia is so powerful that it prevents individuals from coming in and having a check-up. This puts patients at significant risk of dental problems ranging from decay and gum disease to mouth cancer and enamel erosion.
The good news is, there is a solution for patients who are frightened of the dentist, which is dental sedation — allowing you to undergo treatment without pain and with a relaxed state of mind.
It is possible to reverse dental phobia with more organic means like discussion and positive reinforcement. However, for some people, sedation is the only way to create new and positive associations with coming in for dental check-ups and treatment.
Here at The Bristol Dental Practice, we offer sedation, carried out by experienced professionals, allowing patients to have pain free dentistry in a relaxing environment in the heart of Bristol’s wonderful city centre.
Dental sedation at The Bristol Dental Practice: your journey
Here is what you can expect when seeking dental sedation in Bristol at The Bristol Dental Practice.
Sedation consultation: all procedures under sedation require an initial consultation with one of our dentists in Bristol. During this appointment, we will outline the process in detail, so you know just what to expect at every stage. Being transparent with our patients is extremely important to us. Not only does this help patients feel more at ease, but it also allows them to feel empowered to ask questions and form a rapport based on trust with their dentist. As a team that really value the personal touch, this is incredibly important to us from the get-go.
Collation of diagnostic material: we will carry out X-rays and provide you with an itemised treatment plan before booking you in with our treatment coordinator, who can answer any non-clinical questions you might have. At this stage, we will ask you if you wish to proceed with the given treatment or not, and your treatment coordinator can arrange this for you.
Signing consent forms: we will ask you to sign our consent form and provide a breakdown of any medications you’re taking and of any drugs you’re allergic to. We will request that you bring the completed forms in on the day of your treatment – please note that we will not be able to proceed with sedation without the completion of these forms.
The most commonly performed type of sedation at The Bristol Dental Practice is IV (intravenous) sedation, but we can also offer intranasal sedation and oral sedation.
More information about IV sedation
IV sedation is administered using a very fine needle called a cannula, which is placed on the back of the hand. A fast-acting liquid sedative called Midazolam is administered into your bloodstream through this cannula. This initiates a relaxed and drowsy effect which reduces anxiety and acts as a muscle relaxant.
Under the effects of IV sedation, you will still be conscious, allowing you to communicate with the dentist and vice versa. For example, we may need you to respond to requests such as opening your mouth a little wider at some point during your procedure. Many patients find they remember very little about the procedure, as Midazolam has amnesic effects.
Sedation is suitable for a range of procedures, not just those that are more complex. You might even wish to opt for sedation if you’re anxious about having a small filling if you feel it will help you to increase your confidence during check-ups and procedures in the future. It’s no exaggeration to say that the benefits of IV sedation can be considerable. With newfound confidence in visiting the dentist and caring for your teeth, you may find your oral and general health improve – after all, the two are closely intertwined.
The magic after-effects of sedation
Sedation dentistry can be a truly transformative experience. So much so that many patients find they no longer need it to undergo dental treatment, having overcome their fears.
In our experience, most dental anxieties stem from a bad experience with a dentist. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense that a good experience under sedation would significantly help re-forge a positive connection with visiting the dentist. We’re always thrilled when patients report back to us that their perceptions have changed. It’s why we do what we do.
Read more about our patients’ experiences on the testimonials page.
Excellence in sedation at The Bristol Dental Practice
Not all dental practices offer sedation. We’re thrilled to have experienced professionals at our dental practice in Bristol who have carried out specialist training in this field.
Principal dentist Dr Jonathan Cochrane has a special interest and expertise in sedation, completing a Certificate in Conscious Sedation at UCL in 2017. Since then, he has safely and effectively carried out numerous treatments under intravenous sedation for patients.
We’re also very fortunate to have the experience of Dr Rob Endicott. He retired from clinical dentistry in 2018 but continues to provide sedation for patients here at our practice and in practices across the UK.
If you wish to find out more about pain-free dentistry and dental sedation in Bristol here at our practice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our lovely reception team. They can book you in for a consultation appointment, and we look forward to supporting you on your journey to conquering your dental fears and anxieties.