About Conscious Sedation
Conscious sedation is a form of anxiety control that makes treatment more pleasant for the patient. It is effective, predictable and very safe.
Conscious sedation is the modern alternative to general anaesthesia for most dental procedures.
Conscious sedation can be given in a number of ways. With each of the following techniques Mr Garratt will need to know about your general health and any medication that you take in order to assess your suitability for each technique.
Intravenous sedation is the most commonly used form in adults. With this method of conscious sedation the sedative drugs are administered by an injection into a vein in your arm or in the back of your hand. It is usual to use only one drug but, in some circumstances, a combination of drugs may be used to sedate you to the required state. The onset of sedation is rapid and precise. Although you will remain in verbal contact with your dentist you may well remember very little about your treatment. This technique of conscious sedation is very different from a general anaesthetic where you are fully unconscious.
Recovery after IV sedation can take a little time. You won’t leave Trinity House until Mr Garratt has confirmed you are safe to do so. Both adults and children will be required to bring a responsible adult to accompany them home after the procedure. You may feel sleepy and your escort must be able to give you undivided attention until you are safely resting at home. There will be a need for supervision for the rest of the day and amongst other instructions you must not drive, operate machinery or make serious decisions. The following day you should be fit to resume your normal activities.
This technique is popular with patients and is used to overcome the fear of dentistry. It offers a safer, powerful alternative to general anaesthesia.
Oral sedatives are taken by mouth in the form of tablets, capsules or liquids. These drugs can either be used to relax you before your trip to the dentist (pre-medication) or act as a sedative to help you when you are having your dental treatment. Both adults and children receiving treatment under oral sedation must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can give the patient their undivided attention both before and for the rest of the day after the treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Q – Who will sedate me?
A – A dentist who has been specially trained in conscious sedation techniques will sedate you. A nurse who has also received specific training will assist the dentist.
Q – Are there any risks involved in conscious sedation?
A – All drugs carry some risks. The risks associated with conscious sedation are very small, particularly when compared with general anaesthesia. There is negligible risk if you follow the instructions given to you by your dentist.
Q – How long will I be drowsy?
A – Usually drowsiness last no more than 8 hours. Some people sleep heavily following sedation. Very occasionally some patients feel drowsy the following day.
Q – Is it as good as general anaesthesia?
A – We can’t guarantee oblivion with conscious sedation, but many people cannot differentiate between general anaesthesia and conscious sedation. The main benefits are that conscious sedation is inherently safer and more pleasant.
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Source: Trinity House