Dental sedation

How dental sedation can allay your fears about dental visits

Feel as though you slept through it all

If a past experience has made you fearful of dental visits, help is at hand. At Holmes Dental Care, we have a special interest in helping nervous patients, and have trained in dental sedation so that all options are on the table when it comes to ensuring you get the treatment you need at the right time. IV sedation – also known as ‘twilight’ or ‘conscious’ sedation – involves a small injection that combines sedative, to make you relaxed and drowsy, with analgesic (painkiller) and anaesthetic (numbing). The combined effect of these three elements allows patients to begin their treatment in an induced state of complete contentment and relaxation, and end it with little or no memory of their procedure.

Dental Sedation services at Holmes Dental Care
Dental sedation in Cardiff

How IV sedation works

At Holmes Dental Care, we use a sedative called Midazolam. It will not ‘put you to sleep’, as a general anaesthetic would, but it is highly effective as a relaxant – so much so that most patients naturally fall asleep during their treatment. However, although you feel as though you are sleeping, you may hear voices and will be able to respond to the gentle squeeze of your hand during your procedure. IV sedation has an amnesic effect, which means that you remember little or nothing of the procedure afterwards. In addition, patients treated under IV sedation will often lose track of time, and a very long appointment will appear to be over in minutes.



How is IV sedation different to general or local anaesthetic?

IV sedation effectively bridges the divide between local and general anaesthetic. You won’t be completely unconscious, as with a general, but you’ll be in a state of deep, sleepy relaxation that means you’ll have very little awareness or memory of your dental procedure. The dentist will be able to rouse you if required, to answer questions, for example, but it’s unlikely you’ll remember this afterwards.

If I’m conscious, won’t I will still feel anxiety about my treatment?

No, because the drugs we use induce feelings of deep contentment and relaxation. Patients generally feel as though they’re sleeping. Conscious sedation also has an amnesiac effect.

How long does it take for the effects to wear off?

In most cases, you will need to spend up 30 minutes in recovery after your procedure. The full effects of conscious sedation take 24 hours to wear off, so you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and to be with you at home until the effects have worn off. You may feel groggy, and won’t be able to operate electrical machinery, cook, use sharp implements or make any critical decisions during this time.

As an extremely nervous patient, I was made to feel at ease and with full confidence in what was being done. The treatment took approximately 12 months but the end results are brilliant. I can smile without gaps and I would not hesitate to recommend this treatment to anyone. Barry is a truly fabulous dentist.

WC, had general restorative including implants

Thank you Barry for your expertise, your skills and your professionalism. And, to all the Team for your wisdom, your humour and your care!

A challenging day for me yesterday but thank you all you eased the pain. In my memory bank I know it will remain a fascinating and positive experience. I am confident I am in safe hands.

CD, had bone grafting

A big thank you to Barry and Helena for going the extra mile and doing the extraction late this afternoon. After the pain the last 2 months I’m so glad I changed to this practice.

FD, had emergency treatment including extraction and bridge fit

5.0 45 reviews

  • Avatar Becky Hereward ★★★★★ in the last week
    I have been seeing Barry and the team since May 2021 to have aligners / clear correct. Barry and the team have made the process incredibly smooth & communicated with me throughout / answered all my questions & been really accommodating. … More I’m so glad I found the practise & am really happy with the results. Picture below shows 4 months progress. Still have a few more aligners and tweaks to make!
  • Avatar Elizabeth Warwick ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    Dr Barry and colleagues made my recent dental appointments great experiences. I felt very safe on each visit and everyone was very professional throughout. Excellent advice provided for everything I asked about and I wouldn’t hesitate to … More recommend this practice.


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