Conscious sedation is a popular solution used in dentistry for people who feel anxious or stressed during dental procedures.
Sedation reduces stress, anxiety and discomfort and leaves patients feeling relaxed about treatment.
In the past dental sedation has also been called sleep dentistry, IV sedation dentistry, oral sedation dentistry, and inhalation sedation/relative analgesia.
One of our Dentists, Dr. Lewis Butler, has undergone special training with SAAD (Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry) in order to be able to provide sedation for patients.
What are the procedures for conscious sedation?
The steps for conscious sedation may differ based on the procedure you’re having done.
Here’s what you can typically expect for a general procedure using conscious sedation:
- You attend your dental appointment as you normally would, no need to avoid food or drink beforehand. We’d recommend wearing flat shoes.
- You’ll be welcomed to sit in the dental chair, where the procedure will be calmly explained to you.
- You’ll receive intravenous sedation (usually Midazolam) into your hand or arm, at which point you will start to feel relaxed.
- We begin the procedure once the sedative takes effect. Depending on the procedure, you’ll be under sedation for as little as 15 minutes, but it can be longer for some procedures.
What does conscious sedation feel like?
Sedation effects differ from person to person. The most common feelings are relaxation and sleepiness. Once the sedative takes effect, negative emotions, stress, and anxiety disappear.
What’s recovery like?
Recovery from conscious sedation is quite rapid.
Here’s what to expect:
- You will need to stay with us for an hour from when the sedation was given.
- You will need to bring a family member or friend who can drive or take you home.
- Some side effects may last for the rest of the day. These include drowsiness and relaxation.
- Take the day off work and avoid physical activity until side effects wear off. Avoid any manual tasks that require precision and do not operate heavy machinery.