St James Lane, Winchester, SO22 4NY
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Nervous Patients

Our dentists and therapists at Marlfield House will always try our best to make you feel at ease and deliver a wide range of treatments every day by means of gentle dental care. There are several different methods available to help people cope with their fear and anxiety. This section lists the most common methods for helping patients with their anxiety and allowing them to have dental treatment in the most comfortable way.

At your assessment visit the dentist will discuss these options with you and help you decide which method is best for you. If you have any questions not answered here please speak to a member of the dental team.

Local Anaesthesia (injection in the gum)

This is the simplest way to control dental discomfort and pain. Anaesthetic cream can be placed onto the gum to make the injection more comfortable. Then, a small injection is placed in the gum. This temporarily anaesthetises or numbs the area allowing painless dental treatment to be carried out.

The numbness can last up to 4 hours and care should be taken not to damage the numb area (e.g. by biting it) during this time.

Inhalation Sedation (gas and air)

This technique involves breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen through a small nasal mask that you wear for the whole appointment. The gas usually makes patients feel warm, floating, tingly and relaxed; you will not go to sleep. In addition to the sedation, local anaesthetic is used as required.

The effects wear off rapidly and within 15 minutes you should be able to drive home. This method is suitable for patients who can breathe through their nose and who have mild or moderate anxiety. It is especially good for children.

Oral Sedation

With this method patients are given a tablet or drink which helps them feel relaxed. The sedative medicine can be taken at the dental surgery or, in some cases, at home. This method is usually only used for adult patients. In addition to the sedation, local anaesthetic is used as required.

The sedative effect can take a long time to work and recovery may also take longer. For this reason this method is not used very often. You must bring someone with you who can take you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

Intravenous sedation

A sedative medicine(midazolam) is injected into a vein in the patient’s hand or arm. This makes patients feel relaxed and drowsy. Many patients remember little about the treatment they receive whilst sedated in this way. Patients are awake and can talk to the dental staff at all times. In addition to the sedation, local anaesthetic is used as required. You must bring someone with you who can take you home and stay with you for the rest of the day. This method works well for all types of anxiety and patients who have difficulty with muscle spasms or muscle relaxation. This method is usually used for patients over 16 years of age.