A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be stressful
Some people are concerned that their visit to the dentist may be painful. This makes them feel anxious, they delay seeing a dentist, and as a result, simple problems can go untreated until the problem has become much worse.
There are a number of ways to manage pain and to make your visit comfortable.
The most common way to manage pain is via local anaesthetic. You will always be asked if you would like to have anaesthetic, and you should to aware that there is no charge associated with local or topical anaesthetic.
Managing Pain – Topical and Local Anaesthetic
Topical anaesthetic, usually a cream, may be used to numb the tissues prior to injections of local anaesthetic, making the whole process more comfortable.
Local anaesthetics are administered by injection. The tooth and surrounding area will become numb – it requires a short time to become effective, with some people being quicker or slower to respond. You will always be asked if the area is numb before treatment is started, and the dentist will ask you to tell them if you feel any pain during treatment. In this case treatment will be stopped until the anaesthetic takes effect.
Relative Analgesic or “Happy Gas”
This can be effective for patients who experience more than usual anxiety about dentistry. Nitrous oxide and oxygen gas are administered via a nose mask, inducing a feeling of well being and relaxation. The patient remains fully awake and able to ask and answer questions.
Intravenous or Twilight Sedation
For people with high levels of anxiety this may be a suitable choice.
A doctor will attend the dental surgery to administer the sedative drug and to monitor progress throughout the dental treatment . The patient is not unconscious, but is sedated and will generally have no recall of the procedure afterwards.
This is not a routine choice for dental treatment and will only be suggested if it is not possible to carry out the treatment in the dental chair.
It may be recommended for some young children, for some disabled adults and for people requiring surgical procedures. The patient will be admitted to hospital for the day and the dental treatment will be carried out in the theatre with a trained anaesthetist in attendance.
Please feel welcome to speak to your dentist about any of these options, to decide which one best suits your needs.