Sedation Dentistry

We have first-hand experience of how common dental phobia is, and what’s more, that it is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about – if you experience nerves, tension or anxiety while having or even thinking about a visit to the dentist, you are far from alone. 

Every aspect of our Dublin city centre clinic has been devised with the aim of making high-quality, modern dentistry available to everyone. Which is why, in addition to our welcoming, state-of-the-art facilities fully-equipped to provide a variety of relaxation and unwinding amenities during examinations and procedures, we offer the option of undertaking any procedure at our clinic under Dental Sedation – so that even the most nervous patient can achieve their dream smile. 

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What is Dental Sedation?

Dental Sedation, sometimes called ‘conscious sedation’ or ‘IV sedation’, is so named because it is administered by our expertly trained and IV certified clinical team intravenously (through the vein). This unique method of sedation allows you and your dentist to completely remove your anxiety and put you into a state of deep, untroubled relaxation before your dental treatment begins. 

Once the sedative is introduced, your scheduled procedure is then carried out exactly as it would otherwise be, while you remain in a state of deep, trance-like relaxation. Conscious sedation of this kind is an extremely safe method of dental sedation, as the patient remains conscious at all times, with the exact dose administered intravenously that is necessary to ensure the optimal relaxation effects of sedation for the specific individual, with vital signs continuously monitored by the specialist dentist. Under Conscious Sedation you will be aware of what is going on around you, and able to respond to simple questions and instructions from the dental team – while afterwards once the effects have worn off you will gradually come back to alertness feeling as though you have just woken from a refreshing nap, with little memory at all of your recent procedure. The effects of Dental Sedation will usually last for an hour after your treatment, during which time you can settle in for an unhurried, easy return to awareness in the serene, comfortable environment our clinic offers. 


Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

  • If you are affected by moderate to severe dental anxiety, or nerves related to a specific dental procedure, Dental Sedation makes it possible for you to get the smile you never thought you could have
  • Ease and facilitate treatment for patients who receive limited relief from local anaesthetic ('numbing' gel or injections) or who have an extremely low tolerance for pain
  • Reduce a strong or sensitive gag reflex, making treatment easier and more tolerable
  • Can restore your trust in dentistry following a history of unpleasant or difficult dental procedures
  • Make your treatment go by in a flash – great for making lengthy, complex procedures more comfortable, or allowing busy patients to easily manage a far longer than normal single appointment to take care of multiple treatment steps which would normally be spread out over several visits

What to Expect from Dental Sedation

Before treatment

During your initial consultation to discuss your overall treatment needs and plan, your dentist will take the time to listen to any fears or anxieties you have, including what works (and doesn’t work) for you in terms of receiving dental care or carrying comfortably through dental visits and procedures, before explaining the range of relaxation and sedation options available at our clinic. At Dame Street Dental we will always work with you to find the approach to your care that benefits and suits you, ensuring that you always remain in control of your treatment experience – any of our procedures can be offered under Dental Sedation if that is what is right for you, and your dentist will discuss this route with you in depth if you wish to proceed with your next scheduled procedure visit under sedation. 

At the beginning of your appointment for your required dental procedure, your dentist will discuss your overall treatment plan with you again, to confirm that you have been able to ask any questions you have and are happy to proceed with your treatment – once this has been gone through with you verbally, you will be asked to sign a consent form accepting your discussed treatment. Your dentist will also arrange any follow up appointments that will be needed at this stage, and communicate this to our front of house team and your escort, in addition to yourself. 

This escort is a designated responsible adult of your choice, whom you will need to bring to the clinic with you on the day of your procedure under Dental Sedation. This is a measure to guarantee your safety, and we do require that you appoint a responsible escort to attend the clinic with you for your appointment, accompany you home afterwards and remain with you for the 24 hours immediately following your treatment – your dentist cannot proceed with your procedure under sedation on the scheduled day if you have not brought your responsible escort with you. 

Once your treatment plan consent form is signed, and only once all of your questions have been addressed, will your dentist begin to administer the Dental Sedation. Most commonly the medication is given through a vein (intravenously) or in some rarer cases it will be provided through a drink or tablet. Your dentist will have discussed your needs and suitability for these different administration methods during your initial consultation. 

Once administered, the sedative effects of the medication are quick to come into play and you will soon be in a completely relaxed state of mind with a vague awareness of time passing. Only once you have entered this calm, untroubled state will your dentist apply a local anaesthetic, to numb the area of your mouth they will be working on so that you will be completely pain-free throughout your procedure, at which point the treatment itself can begin. 

Your IV certified clinical team will monitor your condition, vitals and state of mind throughout your procedure, to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the experience, and before you know it your treatment will be complete and you will be coming to awareness in a relaxing recovery room, accompanied by your escort.  

After treatment

Once your scheduled dental procedure is complete, you will be asked to stay in the clinic waiting area for an observation period, where you will be in the care of your escort and routinely monitored by staff – when your dentist is happy with your recovery from the initial effects of sedation you will be allowed to go home. 

It takes about 24 hours for the sedative medication to completely leave your system, so a number of precautions must be taken. A detailed list of what you should and shouldn’t do following Dental Sedation will be provided to you at your initial consultation if you discussed being sedated for your procedure with your dentist, so that you could prepare in advance. Your escort can also be given an additional copy of these instructions at this time if needed, and you will also be given a post-procedural leaflet for the specific dental treatment you have just overgone, giving you detailed instructions of the appropriate aftercare for that treatment and guidance to optimise your recovery. 

Once your dentist has cleared you to leave the clinic, your designated responsible escort must take you home and stay with you for the 24 hours immediately following your treatment, until the sedative will have completely exited your system. It is not appropriate for you to take public transport home in this condition, and your escort will need to organise to drive you or for a taxi to collect you both. You should take this time to relax at home and recover after your treatment, most importantly including not driving or operating machinery, not going into work or indeed making any important decisions during this 24 hour period.

Questions? Answers.

Is Dental Sedation safe?

Conscious Sedation is an exceptionally safe method, with a long history of facilitating dental treatment for nervous patients, however your dental team will go through your previous medical history with you beforehand to ensure that this procedure is suitable for you. Our clinical team are certifiably trained to deliver specialist sedation procedures, and they will closely monitor you throughout treatment and provide the safest effective dose of the medication so you are never at risk. 

You must ensure you answer all questions at your initial consultation honestly, and let your dentist know of any changes to your medical history or medications, as certain patients should not undergo treatment under IV sedation – for example, patients who are pregnant, have respiratory problems, high blood pressure or a severe systemic disease must disclose this to their dentist when asked. 

Will I be asleep during Dental Sedation?

Unlike with general anaesthesia, a process which uses a combination of medications to put patients into a state of controlled unconsciousness, under Dental Sedation you are awake during your treatment, although you will be in a drowsy and relaxed, dream-like state. Time will appear to pass very quickly, and many patients report feeling like they have just woken up from a refreshing nap once the effects of sedation have worn off. 

General anaesthesia is only available in a hospital setting, making the waiting lists for such appointments incredibly long, especially for non-specialist procedures. Recovery times following general anaesthesia are also longer, including longer term effects of that method of sedation, all of which makes dental Conscious Sedation with Dame Street Dental a highly effective, safe alternative for patients with dental anxiety who need high-quality, restorative, preventative or cosmetic treatment now. 

Does Dental Sedation prevent pain during my procedure?

Dental Sedation is used to put you into a calm, anxiety and worry-free state of mind to make your treatment an easy, enjoyable experience. This includes helping patients to relax who have a fear of needles, who would usually find it difficult to tolerate the local anaesthetic given before starting a dental procedure. Your dentist will ensure you do not feel any pain during your treatment by numbing your mouth with this local anaesthetic once the effects of your sedation have commenced. 

Do I really need to bring someone with me to my Dental Sedation appointment?

Yes, this is a safety requirement for your dentist to be able to proceed with your scheduled procedure on the day of your appointment. If you have not organised a responsible adult (over the age of 18) to escort you from the clinic after your procedure is complete, who can take you home via car or taxi, and stay with you for the 24 hours immediately following your appointment, then we will not be able to carry out your treatment on that day. 

Are there any alternatives to IV conscious sedation?

Absolutely, at Dame Street Dental we offer a number of low to higher intervention methods to relax and calm even the most anxious patient before their dental appointment. We strive to create and foster a relaxing, welcoming environment for all our patients, which includes first-class comfort and amenities in every waiting area and surgery - we aim to put you at ease from the moment you step through our doors.

For patients requiring targeted relief of mental or physical discomfort during their treatment, one approach involves oral medicine which we can prescribe and administer to patients with heightened dental anxiety. This method of sedation is not as strong as IV administered sedation, and can be more suitable for patients who are easily made worried or uncomfortable by lengthy or even routine dental treatments, so that we can ensure they have as comfortable and effective a visit as possible. Much like with IV sedation, following dental care under oral sedation the patient will soon after regain alertness feeling calm and refreshed.

Another method of sedation is the use of nitrous oxide, often called ‘laughing gas.’ This option also helps relieve anxiety and lighten the mood, and as the least intensive medication of the three, this particular method is more often employed with children and teens who experience dental worry or fear – however, it can also be the right choice for patients of any age who simply need a little help relaxing completely during their dental procedure. 

Your dentist will always discuss with you during your initial consultation what form of Dental Sedation is appropriate for you, so that you can attend for your care in complete confidence that your experience will be 100% stress and anxiety-free. 

Is there anything I should do before Dental Sedation?

In preparation for your scheduled dental procedure under sedation, you should:

  • Arrange for a responsible adult to come with you for your appointment. It is essential for this escort to be able to take you home after the procedure and stay with you for 24 hours after your treatment
  • Make any necessary arrangements for childcare or other caring responsibilities for the duration of your appointment and the 24 hours immediately following, as you will not be capable of looking after dependents during this period. If you think you may be pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding, you must inform your treating dentist, as they will be able to advise you about any alternative feeding arrangements which may be necessary 
  • Eat a light meal up to 4 hours prior to treatment and drink plenty of fluids throughout that day and the previous day to ensure you are well hydrated – however don’t drink any fluids in the 2 hours prior to your appointment
  • Don’t consume alcohol or recreational drugs in the 48 hours prior to the appointment, and refrain from smoking for 24 hours before your appointment
  • Take your long-term medications as normal unless directed otherwise by your dentist
  • Avoid wearing nail polish, as this can interfere with our monitoring equipment
  • Remove any piercings from your mouth and face
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your procedure appointment, in particular a short-sleeved top is recommended, as the clinical team will need easy access to your arm
Is there anything I can’t do after Dental Sedation?

In the 24 hours following a procedure taken under Dental Sedation, you cannot: 

  • Drive any vehicle or operate machinery 
  • Use electrical appliances
  • Breastfeed
  • Care for children or dependants
  • Make important decisions or sign documents
  • Attend work 
  • Drink alcohol or take recreational drugs
Can I still get Dental Sedation if I take long-term medication?

In some cases, yes – you should take a list of your medications with you to your initial consultation. At this visit your dentist will be able to discuss with you whether Dental Sedation is suitable for you based on your medical history and any related counter indications from your medications, among other factors. 

How long does Dental Sedation last?

The effects of the sedation will begin to wear off an hour after your treatment is completed. However, it will take until the next morning (24 hours from the time your procedure ended) for it to completely leave your system. You should follow the advice for aftercare, supervision and activities to avoid during this period given to you by your dentist at your appointment. 

How much does Dental Sedation cost?

At Dame Street Dental, the cost of IV Dental Sedation begins at €250. The total cost of your appointment to be carried out under conscious sedation will depend on the cost of the dental procedure you are undergoing, and information on our general and specialist procedural fees is available for your reference. 

We believe that all patients should have the opportunity to avail of high quality, life-changing modern dental treatment, and we understand that every patient’s situation is different. And so at Dame Street Dental we offer a range of payment plans which our dedicated and experienced dental and front of house teams will be happy to go through with you at the outset of your treatment plan, to help you choose the payment plan that best serves your treatment goals and needs. 

Putting off dealing with new or persistent dental pain or concerns due to anxiety, nerves or phobia? 

Call us today on Dame Street Dental to schedule an appointment.