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Scottish dental patients ‘increasingly sedated’

Posted by Yvonne Wallace

New data has revealed that dental patients in Scotland are increasingly opting to ask their dentist if they can be sedated during their appointments.

Figures unveiled by the Office for National Statistics have showed a big increase in Scots patients demanding to be sedated, with 20 per cent more people having a sedative.

As many as 40 Scots a day are now being sedated through tablets, laughing gas and even IV drips, it was revealed by the data.

According to a report by Deadline News, many of those who want to be sedated during their trip to the dentist are middle-aged and had bad experiences when they were younger.

Clinical director at the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry Arshad Ali told the news provider he carries out sedation on around three patients a week.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of patients requesting to be sedated, but we prefer to do it as a last resort,” he said, noting it is possible they could have an allergic reaction to the sedative and this would lead to various complications.

“For a dentist it can also be a challenge, making a patient less co-operative. In some cases we have to give them oxygen which can get in the way. A patient’s cough reflex can also be affected,” added Mr Ali.

Vincent Bissell, professor of restorative dentist at the University of Glasgow, explained those who request a sedative during an appointment at the dentist usually do so because they have anxiety about the procedure they are undergoing.

“It is certainly possible that an increasing number of people are receiving treatment because sedation is being made more available to them,” he said.

Claire Mitchell, 31, from Edinburgh, has had a lifelong fear of the dentist and explained she found having a sedative to be “amazing”.

Dr Jenny Pinder, a dentist who treats phobic patients at the Bupa dental centre in London, recently told the Daily Mail that a lot of men are scared of the dentist as they have a fear of choking on dental instruments.

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