Dentophobia, the fear of visiting the dentist, is still an incredibly common issue in the 21st century. According to research conducted by the University of Adelaide and Australian Research Centre, one in six Australian adults are affected by high dental fear and avoid visiting the dentist. This may sound like quite a high statistic but for Dr Zaid Al Momani of NDC Alexandra Hills, anxious people are very commonplace in the practice.
What is Twilight Dentistry?
“We learn about dental phobic people while studying and what behaviour management tools you should use to help overcome their fear,” says Dr Zaid. “It’s important to take your time and explain everything you’re going to do before you do it. If someone has an intense fear of the dentist, a strong gag reflex, or if they need a long procedure like implant placement, then IV sedation might be worthwhile.”
IV Sedation, also known as twilight dentistry or sleep dentistry, is a mixture of pain relief and sedatives given via an injection that causes drowsiness. “It’s more controlled than oral sedation but not as invasive as general anaesthetic,” explains Dr Zaid. “We can perform it locally in the practice, with a sedationist, so people don’t have to go into hospital in the city. It’s also a less expensive option, so great for people who may not have private health insurance.”
Is Twilight Dentistry safe?
Twilight Dentistry is always performed with a sedationist which makes it very safe. The sedationist administers the mixture and then monitors heart rate, breathing and blood pressure the entire time using specialised monitoring devices. “It’s definitely one of the safest methods of having dental work done,” says Dr Zaid, “we have a selection criteria that patients go through before we decide whether they’re potential candidates for IV Sedation.”
If the dentist thinks that IV Sedation is suitable as part of their treatment plan, then first patients must have a consult over the phone with the sedationist to discuss their medical history. “It’s important that they’re healthy individuals with no medical complications,” says Dr Zaid. “If the sedationist is happy to go ahead and the patient is pleased with them, then we’ll schedule in the appointment. After the procedure is finished, there is a recovery room where the patients can relax and recuperate.”
Do you feel any pain with IV Sedation?
“I get asked this all the time,” laughs Dr Zaid, “IV Sedation puts people into a sleep-like, relaxed state where they don’t remember anything when they wake up. You will feel no pain during the procedure and 3 hours will feel like 3 minutes!”
“It really is a wonderful option for people who are very anxious about visiting the dentist or those who need to have a long dental procedure done but don’t want to put their body through the stress of general anaesthetic. It also means they can have the procedure done in one go and they don’t have to come back another day.”
How did you get into Twilight Dentistry?
“I was trained in the UK and had a lot of experience there in different dental hospitals delivering IV Sedation and general anaesthetic,” says Dr Zaid. “I was already very familiar with the procedure as I used to perform wisdom teeth removals and implants. I’m excited to bring this skill with me to Alex Hills and hopefully it will benefit the community.”
You can book in IV Sedation with Dr Zaid Al Momani at National Dental Care Alexandra Hills by calling 07 3824 4211 or book online today.