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Is IV sedation available from NHS in SCOTLAND?

C

Chancery

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Jan 22, 2010
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34
Hi, it took me 2 years to finally get referred to the specialist dental clinic in Edinburgh (Duncan St). The first time I was there we discussed me getting IV sedation if I needed treatment and I was told I'd have to go to X (I think it might have been Haddington) because that was the only place they could do it; it wasn't available at Duncan St. Yesterday I was back for a follow-up visit and the dentist told me she'd 'since discovered they don't offer IV sedation. It's no longer available'. I was a bit thrown, combined with being on Diazepam, so I didn't really question it as I should have, but I'm thinking now - what do they do with people who have autism, or have severe retardation and who can't sit through dentistry? Are they putting them under general anaesthetic or just throwing them to the wolves - go private or go home?

I'm suspecting now what she really meant was that people in the dental fear clinic, like myself, don't get the option of IV sedation, which makes me wonder, why bother having the clinic? If the dentist can't offer me any help that my normal dentist can't offer, why is it even there? I find it a lot more stressing to go there, because it is so far away (another NHS strategy, putting everything in one, distant, place) so frankly I don't think I'll bother going back if they can't offer any additional help.

So, short form, what I want to know is:

a) Anyone had IV sedation from NHS Scotland?
b) Does anyone know if they are offering it to ANY patients or has it genuinely been stopped, and
c) Am I right in saying an ordinary NHS dentist can give gas & air, because that's all she was offering me as an option.

Any information, or if there is somewhere better to post this, most gratefully accepted. Thanks!
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Oct 25, 2005
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A) Most odd. Yes, IV sedation is most certainly available in Scotland.
B) It's available to any patient who would benefit from it
C) Any suitably trained & equipped dentist can give IV or inhalation sedation doesn't matter if they work in the NHS or privately.
 
C

Chancery

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
34
Thanks, Gordon. This leaves me a bit stumped because it sounds like I'm being lied to now but I don't know how to bring that up with the dentist. I can't help feeling she just personally doesn't think I merit help but in that case why not just throw me out the clinic and tell me so? She keeps pulling me back in, next trip will be my third visit. She also keeps talking about extracting my TN tooth (I have trigeminal neuralgia inside my mouth) and seems to think root canals are a waste of time, which I also find both worrying and confusing. I have at least four root canals, all okay, and she knows this so why she is so reticent and why she is determined to blame my TN on an overly large filling, and is determined to remove it, I don't know either. It's not why I was originally referred.

I'm being seen at Special Care Dentistry, so surely anyone there should be eligible for things like sedation? I really don't know what's going on, but how the NHS works is very opaque. There's no leaflet for the service, for example, telling you what they do and do not offer. I don't even know my dentist's name. It just comes up as Room 5 on my letters. I don't know how to challenge her. Any suggestions?

This clinic was supposed to give me more options and help and instead I feel undermined and confused and anxious. Is there anywhere I can go to ask what this clinic, or Lothian NHS, is supposed to actually offer and why they are claiming there is no IV sedation?
 
Gordon

Gordon

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That sounds like a bit of a mess to be honest. I'm not very current with who is in posts in Lothian, the person you probably want to be in touch with is Angus Walls, Director of Dentistry, NHS Lothian, you should be able to contact him via the NHS Lothian website and relate your concerns to him.

You absolutely need to know the name of the dentist you're seeing, that's just not on.
 
C

Chancery

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
34
@Gordon Thanks for that. I'm thinking about writing to her as I don't want to stew on this for the next four months and I also don't want to be blindsided again. Because I was on diazepam for the visit, and I already take Gabapentin for the TN, I can be slow to absorb things so often feel uncomfortable challenging people in case it's me being 'dense due to drugs'. I think I'll need to get into the habit of just blurting out what I think and run the risk of offending, but in this instance it genuinely took me a couple of days to think, 'That can't be right, what about people with severe autism etc?'. I'm also now wondering why if Duncan St is a Special Care clinic, and they are seeing people who are disabled etc, rather than just those in the Dental Phobics Clinic (where I went), then why isn't there sedation available actually on the premises? I am genuinely baffled. Anyhow I'll mull it over this weekend and consider what I'm going to do. Thanks for your help.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Jul 26, 2017
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Chancery,

Just want to say first off , sorry you are having to deal with this bit of an off experience, there is a reason something is telling you in your gut its off! I'm glad for @Gordon ! He is the right guy to listen to , has alot of wisdom and compassion! I know for me it really is the dentist and their personal level of patience and compassion and wisdom in dealing with anxiety and not necessarily the motto or claim of the clinic in general.. I remember I took my daughter to a special pediatric clinic for her very first dental visit I figured they were the pediatric experts. well .. they were experts at bullying pediatric patients and their parents and weren't nice at all. their philosophies just didn't fit well at all. So endedup taking her to my regular clinic and the dentist treated her so kindly and let her watch my treatments first then dealt with her so patiently. So just remember its not in the title but how they treat you and make you feel, do they respect you, your questions? your stop signs. and if you want sedation it sounds like from what Gordon said it should somehow be available. Don't stop asking questions, I hope you get your answers and don't settle until someone will treat you kindly and right

:grouphug:
 
C

Chancery

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
34
@krlovesherkids777 Thanks for the support. You are absolutely right, trusting the dentist and, to a lesser extent, the practice (they all count: receptionists, et al), is the most important thing. Ironically my normal dentist is really sweet, I really like her, but of course they don't do sedation as an NHS standard. I thought that's why I was going to the fear clinic, so that if I had to have a root canal done I could have it done under sedation. Now that it appears they can't/won't offer that I don't quite see the point of them. I haven't written to her yet. I'm still trying to decide what I want to say/ask. But right now I think it may be the best optiin. I'm better at putting my fears/arguments in writing. On the day I'm too intimidated by the surgery and just being in one at all to be a good advocate for myself.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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@Chancery I'm so glad to hear your regular dentist is sweet and you feel comfortable with her it seems.. Sometimes these specialists you go to once or twice think they can get away with being rude it seems. agh. :( I really wish youthe best in the journey.. You know that is a great idea. I have to write my questions myself when I go to dentist or I will just space and forget them being nervous .. it really does help to write them down. Awesome !
 
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