NHS treatment

Sedation Service

Many people find dental treatment difficult. It is common with studies showing 53% of UK population is worried about dental treatment.

We are fortunate to be able to provide sedation here at Gateway for anxious patients. We have built up a dental team who have received extra training this allows us to carry out dental treatment under sedation to the highest standards.

George Warmisham: As an undergraduate in Shefield and as an anxious patient myself, I was interested in anxious patients which led me to complete a post graduate diploma in dental sedation at Newcastle University. I carry out intravenous and inhalation sedation. I have taught and supervised dentists, therapists, and dental nurses. I am a member of the strategic advisory forum for dental sedation, contributing to Welsh Government policy decisions.

Katherine Reynolds: Dental Therapist with years of experience in general dental practice and the community dental service. Katherines carried out extra training to allow her to carry out dental treatment with inhalation sedation. She has a calming and caring manner that makes her an ideal clinician to treat anxious patients.

Stacey Richards: Dental nurse who has been at the practice since it started in 2007, completing her sedation training in 2014. Stacey finds dental sedation a rewarding part of the job, especially being able to help relax and treat anxious patients. Stacey’s experience and manner ensure the highest level of care.

Stephanie Brooks: Dental nurse who has been with us her whole nursing career starting in 2011. Completing her sedation training in 2018 Stephanie has an interest in mindfulness and other techniques to deal with anxiety. Her thorough preparation and knowledge of sedation coupled with her calmness make her an ideal assistant for sedation.

Sally Bishop: Started her dental nurse career with us in 2016 and has developed into a key member of the team. Sally has always been interested in sedation and completed her sedation training in October 2021. Mainly working alongside Katherine with inhalation sedation where they have developed an effective and caring working relationship putting patients immediately at ease.

Type of Sedation

Inhalation sedation: We offer Nitrous oxide via a small nose piece titrated to your response (Pictures shown) Keeping the mouth closed and breathing only in and out through the nose, it is similar to Entonox which is used during labour but given in a different way to avoid nausea. 

Not only does it reduce the anxiety some patients may feel, it also reduces gag reflex and can be used only for this. It is a conscious technique and the patient remains awake during treatment and in total control. Once relaxed and the patient feels ready, we can begin treatment. Once treatment is complete 100% oxygen is given to the patient for a few minutes and then they can leave and continue their day as they wish. Only children under the age of 16 need to bring an escort but should the patient feel, they would like to, they can bring someone for support. 

We advise to wear loose fitting clothes, low heeled shoes and not wear contact lenses. Co-dependents and children are not to be brought to the appointment; all the attention must be on the patient. A member of the sedation team will care for the patient and monitor them throughout treatment. If the patient has a blocked nose or cold, please inform a team member. If there is any recent eye surgery the team need to know as this can cause complications. The patient will be able to eat and drink normally unless told otherwise by the dentist.

Intravenous sedation: We offer midazolam given through a vein in the arm or hand using a cannula to reduce anxiety. The drug makes the patient feel relaxed and sometimes sleep, but they will not go to sleep. They remain conscious and able to talk to us throughout. Members of the sedation team will care for and monitor the patient throughout treatment. All medication is to be taken as normal and a light meal unless told otherwise. 

The patient must bring a responsible and able-bodied adult escort who must be able to wait in the waiting room during treatment and then take care of them until the following day. We advise the patient to wear loose fitting clothing and low-heeled shoes, do not wear contact lenses (they will be asked to remove them). No nail varnish/fake nails to be worn, no recreational drugs or alcohol and please do not bring any children as the escort cannot look after the patient and them. 

The patient will need to be taken home in a car or taxi only, a responsible adult must stay with the patient and ensure the patient rests for the remainder of the day, avoids exercise, take medication as normal. Please arrange care for anyone who is usually cared for by the patient including children, older or sick relatives. Side effects of the drug include drowsiness and forgetfulness, occasionally a bruise at the injection site. 

The patient should not return to work for 24hours, drink alcohol or take recreational drugs, use the internet, sign legal documents, or make any important decisions as they may forget they have done so or operate machinery including domestic appliances such as kettles.