Pain Relief: Intravenous or Inhalation Sedation?

OK, so I’ve previously written about Reginald O’Neill Dental Care in Billericay and how I’m terrified of the dentist. One of the biggest differences at this dental surgery is the amount of talking involved and the support for nervous patients like myself! My health, history and fears were all discussed in detail and not just dismissed as they had been with other dentists. It was reassuring to be involved in the whole process and enlightened in terms of what pain relief is available to nervous patients.

pain relief


To cut a long story short, I was quite happy going to the dentist until I was about 14/15 when I had an awful experience, which left me in tears. The dentist didn’t explain anything; it just felt like she was pulling my teeth out. Needless to say, I went elsewhere. Over the next 15 years, I have had intravenous sedation, as method of pain relief, for every dental procedure, even the smallest of treatments. I was so grateful to be able to continue with dentistry treatment but this isn’t the easiest option. You need to have a chaperone and pretty much write the day off, as you will likely feel drowsy for a while afterwards. Oh and you need to fast beforehand too!

Any other options?

Recently, I discovered Reginald O’Neill Dental Care and feel enlightened that there is actually another option for me. Inhalation sedation (you might know it as laughing gas or gas and air!) has been a game changer for me, in terms of pain relief. Nitrous oxide is simply a gas that you breathe in, which relieves pain and makes the experience a whole lot more pleasurable. During my first treatment visit at the Billericay dental practice, I was apprehensive about whether I would go through with my treatment (my first in many years without intravenous sedation) but I needn’t have worried. A nose piece administers the intravenous sedation. This means that the more you breathe in through your nose, the more pain relief you take in.

And, in fact, it worked so well that I’m tempted to take it a bit easier with the nitrous oxide next time. While vaguely aware of what was going on around me, I also experienced some very weird and wonderful thoughts! But, most importantly, I didn’t feel any pain, nor did I feel anxiety throughout the treatment (except a random moment of panic which disappeared as quickly as it came!). Reg and Jo talked me through what was happening and reassured me throughout. After the hour long procedure, I was able to rest a while in the lounge.

I did feel dizzy, unsteady and quite disorientated afterwards but these feelings disappeared within half an hour or so. I was able to drive home and carry on with my day; this would have been completely unheard of under intravenous sedation. 

pain relief

So, what next?

I have a few more appointments lined up and will definitely be going back to Reg and the team for treatment with inhalation sedation. Any reservations I had about being able to undergo treatment are slowly disappearing. I’m still very much a nervous dental patient (like lots of you, I’m sure) but I know that at Reginald O’Neill Dental Care I am in safe hands with the very best care.

Do have a look through the Reginald O’Neill Dental Care website for more information on different treatments and pain relief options and get in contact with any questions. I’m always more than happy to give you a greater insight on my personal experience too so just pop a comment below with any questions.