Sedation at The Berkeley Clinic


A solution for dental anxiety and fear at The Berkeley Clinic in Glasgow

What is sedation?

Sedation is a technique that can be used in some cases to help nervous patients during their dental treatment, or to make lengthy or more complex dental treatment or surgery become more tolerable. A ‘sedation assessment’ is required to discover if and which type of sedation may be suitable for you.

If you are suitable, it is important to understand what you should expect from sedation. Sedation is also properly referred to “conscious sedation” as you are conscious throughout the procedure as opposed to a general anaesthesia. Although you are conscious during treatment you are relaxed, able to communicate and still in control.

What are the benefits of sedation?

Sedation can provide a number of beneficial outcomes for nervous patients:

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps you feel more comfortable and relaxed during your treatment
  • You may require fewer appointments
  • Allows you to tolerate lengthier or more complex treatment
  • Recovery time can be quick


What alternative options are there?

If you are anxious about dental treatment, at The Berkeley Clinic we also offer

Our in-house team will be an excellent help in finding the perfect treatment plan for you to bring out your dream smile without anxiety about dentistry.

What methods of sedation are used at the Berkeley Clinic?

‘Premedication’ (premed oral sedation)

This type of sedation (a benzodiazepine) comes in the form of a tablet or pill that you take before your appointment. Sometimes this can be taken the night before your appointment to help you sleep and can then often also be taken around an hour before your appointment. This type of sedation is effective for controlling anxiety prior to an appointment and to help you remain calm during an appointment. Most patients will recall all events when using this type of sedation.

Inhalation sedation

This is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen breathed through a nasal hood. This is often also referred to as ‘laughing gas’, ‘happy gas’, and ‘relative analgesia’ among other things. It is an especially safe sedation technique, so much so in fact that it is the sedation of choice for women during childbirth and for children requiring treatment. One other big advantage is that the effects of the sedation can be quickly reversed by switching to 100% oxygen. Inhalation sedation is therefore a fantastic option for patients with mild to moderate anxiety and for relatively basic or quick procedures. Patients will usually recall all events when using this type of sedation.

Intravenous sedation

This involves the sedation (midazolam) being given in liquid form via a cannula in your hand or arm. The sedation works quickly once administered and can be titrated or increased according to how you are responding to it. It then gradually wears off over a period of time. With intravenous sedation you will feel pleasantly sleepy during treatment, less aware of your environment and many people experience long spells of amnesia (forgetfulness) making the experience seem much shorter and more comfortable. Intravenous sedation is one of the most powerful forms of sedation that can be given for dental treatment, and has the advantage of being predictable. With intravenous sedation, you are required to bring someone with you as a chaperone, and they must be able to stay with you for up to 12 hours after your appointment.

Oral sedation

This is when you are given a liquid sedative (midazolam) mixed into a drink before your appointment. The sedative takes at least 20 minutes to have an effect and then gradually wears off. The quantity of the sedation is pre-calculated before your treatment commences so this can make it a slightly less predictable technique when compared to intravenous sedation. 

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