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Confusion over anaesthesia

I was interested to read Su Clark's article on dental anxiety (Friday, February 9).

But I am concerned that she implied sedation is equivalent to general anaesthesia and that, since the Poswillo report, "access to sedationI is becoming less common". This is not tue - use of general anaesthesia (where the patient is unconscious) has declined, but the demand for conscious sedation (which allows verbal communication and is far safer) has grown significantly.

Richard Holmes, fifth-year BDS, Newcastle dental school

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