NHS Sedation

Patients with dental phobias or anxiety may require sedation to sit through a dental treatment. We can help with that.

Conscious Sedation at Our Practice

The Nightingale Clinic has conscious sedation available for patients who need it. This type of sedation helps you relax and block pain, so you can get the oral health treatment you need — which is especially important for nervous patients or those with dental phobias. Conscious sedation helps patients receive treatment comfortably, and remain awake throughout the treatment. We are qualified to offer single- and multi-drug sedation which is used in tandem with local anaesthesia.

No More Painful Dentist Visits

Some people fear the dentist because they think dental treatments will hurt. On the contrary, we take great pride in making sure each and every patient at The Nightingale Clinic feels comfortable, confident and calm throughout their appointment. We are a very understanding and compassionate dental practice. Please let us know if you have anxiety, fears or other obstacles standing in the way of receiving the dental care you need. We are happy to work with you to find options to make you as relaxed as possible.

Nitrous Oxide Versus IV Sedation

The dentists at our practice evaluate the needs of every patient to determine which type of conscious sedation is most suitable. We offer two types of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide and IV sedation.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly known as laughing gas, is a mild sedation technique, and it is the safest choice for many patients. Patients breathe in the nitrous oxide gas through a mask that fits over the nose, offering them sufficient relaxation while they wear it. Once the mask is removed, the effects of the laughing gas wear off quickly.

IV Sedation

Best suited to patients with severe anxiety surrounding dental treatments. Based on your particular needs, we can offer variations of consciousness to make you as comfortable as possible. Those who receive IV sedation are unlikely to remember the treatment afterward, and will need somebody to transport them home and stay with them until the sedation wears off.

Does the NHS Cover Sedation?

As with any NHS dental coverage, the practitioner needs to deem the use of sedation for a particular treatment necessary. Dental conscious sedation is done on a referral basis and conscious sedation is typically limited to extractions and basic conservative care.
Patients can be accepted for NHS sedation coverage if they:
  • Are ASA I II and III
  • Have moderate to severe dental anxiety
  • Have a gag reflex that limits dental treatment
  • Have learning disabilities that reduce their cooperation with dental care
  • Have an involuntary movement disorder
There are some exceptions that can be made at the discretion of the sedation dentist, but in general, these are the limitations of NHS sedation coverage. Some patients are not suited for sedation, including those who are pregnant. During your assessment, we will advise whether sedation is appropriate for you.

Benefits of Sedation

Before commencing treatment, please let us know if dental treatments make you uneasy or fearful. If you let us know how you feel, we can alleviate your concerns, or offer sedation before starting treatment.

Sedation can be beneficial to patients and practitioners for several reasons:

  • It offers you a better dental experience by suppressing the pain and keeping anxiety under control.
  • Conscious sedation allows you to retain reflexes and respond when needed during treatment, but it offers a degree of amnesia, so you don’t recall the actual procedure.
  • Hearing and seeing dental tools can trigger the fight or flight response in some patients; conscious sedation offsets this reaction.
  • Keeping you comfortable and relaxed allows us to complete multiple procedures without causing you grief.

Sedation is Safe

We take every precaution when our patients require sedation. Sedation is only administered by staff who have received specialist training. We will have a discussion with you to explain how the sedation works, any potential risks or side effects and answer your questions. To learn more about our sedation practices and read the instructions on what patients need to know about pre- and post-sedation, please download our Sedation Advice Sheet. During and after the dental procedure, we will monitor you carefully to ensure your safety.

Get the Dental Treatment You Need

We are a patient-first practice, keeping you at the heart of everything we do.
If you may be eligible for Sedation under the NHS, please ask your dentist to refer you to our practice here.