Nervous Patients and Sedation

Here at Rock House we understand that for a lot of people visiting the dentist can be an anxious experience and we are sympathetic to these feelings. Our team are highly competent in the field of dentistry and endeavour to give our patients the highest confidence and trust in our work.

Our team takes a particular interest in the treatment of nervous patients who suffer from anxiety when visiting the dentist.

We would like to introduce you to the sedation service available at Rock House Dental Practice.
Be assured that our primary concern is for patient comfort and the provision of pain and anxiety-free oral surgery and dentistry.

What is sedation?

Sedation is where medication is used to safely, effectively and predictably to reduce anxiety and stress in dentistry.  We provide inhalation and intra-venous sedation.

When is sedation used?

Sedation aims to reduce anxiety, allowing dental treatment to be carried out more comfortably. Sedation is commonly used to assist with oral surgery procedures but can be used for simple restorative dental treatments too.

What is inhalation sedation?

Inhalation sedation involves breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen: during labour, women are given ‘gas and air’, which is the same thing. This gas acts as a painkiller and reduces anxiety. When sedated you will feel more relaxed and may have a warm tingly feeling in your body. An advantage of nitrous oxide and oxygen is that it completely wears off within minutes.  It is suitable for children and those unable to have intra-venous sedation.  Following inhalation sedation, you can leave the surgery and drive home without need of any help.

What is intra-venous sedation?

Intra-venous sedation involves giving a drug called midazolam through a small tube in your arm or hand.  When sedated you will feel relaxed and drowsy, and following the procedure you are unlikely to be able to remember all the treatment.  Following treatment you will require an escort home, and will be unable to return to work, drive, or operate machinery for 24 hours.

What will happen while I am sedated?

You will remain conscious throughout the procedure and able to communicate: the treatment is only started once you have reached the correct level of sedation.  The local anaesthetic will be given carefully and gently and the treatment will be carried out while you remain relaxed. The sedation is given throughout the procedure so you remain comfortable.

Is it safe?

The use of any medication carries a small risk. Both midazolam and nitrous oxide have been used for many years and are very safe. You will be monitored before, during and after the procedure. We will be checking your breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and sedation levels. Hannah Pepper has many years experience of carrying out sedation in hospital and in dental practice, and she will be assisted by a sedation-trained nurse. It is important that you follow our post-operative advice to reduce any complications.

Hannah Pepper    BSc(hons), BDS, MFDS, MBChB(hons), MRCS
Dentist with a Specialist Interest in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Hannah qualified in dentistry from Bristol in 1999 having won the undergraduate commendation prizes in oral medicine and oral surgery.

She completed General Professional Training in Newcastle Dental Hospital where she trained in sedation, paediatric dentistry and oral surgery whilst passing her MFDS from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. She worked in Melbourne Dental Hospital in oral surgery for a year and then returned to Bristol to work for a year in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Royal Infirmary. She has worked in general dental practice with many years of experience in sedation, both inhalation and intravenous.

She embarked on a medical degree in 2007 finishing with honours. Working as a hospital doctor for 6 years she gained valuable experience in paediatrics, general medicine and surgery, completing her MRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2011.