Coping with Dental anxiety

‘Sleep Dentistry’ is a term used to describe I.V sedation dentistry. This is where medication is administered to help relieve a patient of their fears and anxieties during a dental procedure. Lots of people suffer from fears and phobias associated with the dentist - with very real symptoms. We know that some can be so overwhelming that this can prevent a person seeking the treatment they want or need. At the Brighton Implant Clinic, we have had many patients who have avoided the dentist for years or even since childhood. We will do everything we can to advise and inform our patients on what dentistry means today. As well as, help our patient’s combat their phobias to get the treatment they want or need. This is why one of the additional services that we offer is ‘Sleep dentistry’.


Modern dentistry means that dentists are no longer the bad guys. At the Brighton Implant Clinic, we believe dentistry is all about comfort, pain prevention, efficiency, hygiene and lasting natural results. If your fears are preventing you from even a check up, contact us today to see how we can help. In a dental check up our dentists are just looking at the health of your mouth and teeth, you can read more about what happens in a dental check up here.

I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is where you are administered an anti-anxiety sedative before undergoing your dental procedure. You will be conscious as well as responsive throughout, however, you will feel deep in relaxation. So much so, it can almost feel like you could drift off to sleep. We call it the ‘twilight’ zone.

Why is it also known as 'sleep' dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is also known as ‘sleep dentistry’ because of the effects following the procedure. Although you will be fully conscious throughout the procedure you will experience partial to total amnesia afterwards. This means that it is unlikely that you will remember the procedure at all, or it will feel like a dream that you can’t quite remember all the parts to. Because of this I.V sedation is also known as ‘sleep’ dentistry.


What happens in the I.V. sedation procedure?

I.V. is an abbreviation for intravenous, which means administered through a vein. Sedation medication in dentistry is usually administered through a vein in the back of your hand, but in some circumstances through a vein in your arm. A ‘pulse oximeter’ is clipped to your finger to measure your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen throughout. You will be able to follow the full instructions of your dentist but the sedative will ensure you feel at ease, totally relaxed and comfortable.

What is the medication used in I V sedation?

In the United Kingdom, the usual medication used in IV sedation is a type of benzodiazepines or “benzos” for short. There are different forms of benzos however they are all an anti-anxiety sedative.

What does I.V. Sedation feel like?

Even though I V Sedation is also known as ‘sleep dentistry’ you will not be asleep, you will feel total relaxation, with no fear which may seem pretty unbelievable, but you will - while being fully conscious. You will feel like you’re somewhere between wake and sleep, but only because I V sedation causes partial to total amnesia. At the time you will just be very relaxed in the twilight zone.

Do I need to prepare?

  • Do not eat for up to 6 hours before treatment, but you may have water up to 2 hours before. Avoid alcohol for up to 24 hours before treatment. Inform your dentist of any other medication that you are taking. Make sure that you have allowed the whole day for recovery.

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