Tackling fear of the dentist

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A dental surgery in Sheffield has become one of the first in the country to hire a hospital specialist to sedate nervous patients.

Ken Ruiz, a consultant anaesthetist, has joined the team at one80dental in Totley.

He provides sedation for patients undergoing complex or lengthy procedures, as well as those who are feeling anxious.

The former president of the Association of Dental Anaesthetists spends the rest of his time working on patients at Rotherham Hospital.

He uses Propofol, one of the most commonly-used anaesthetics, which he said makes sure patients are ‘sedated, relaxed and free from fear’.

“It is given continuously by infusion and also alters your perception of time, so when you switch it off people think it’s been 10 or 15 minutes when the procedure may have taken an hour or more,” he said.

Practice manager Zoe Rosenbaum said: “Many people are nervous about a visit to the dentist, especially if they have had negative experiences in the past.

“Some patients would not go ahead, but they can now benefit from treatments they need, which is brilliant.”