Sedation FAQ

A number of people are worried about having dental treatment. This may be for a variety of reasons, such as a bad experience at the dentist, their own beliefs about dental treatment, or perhaps the amount of treatment to be carried out. Their anxiety may be so great that it prevents them from going to the dentist.

 Conscious intravenous sedation has been developed to allow patients to have their fears and anxieties reduced to such an extent, that they could comfortably allow dental treatment to take place; it has many advantages which include: -

• There is no need to stay in hospital

• The risks and inconveniences of having general anaesthetic are eliminated

• The patient remains conscious

• The level of anxiety is reduced

• The drug used is very effective. Most patients do not remember the treatment which has taken place during the sedation

What is sedation?

Sedation is when the patient is made calm by the use of certain drugs, giving a feeling of relaxation.

Intravenous sedation is where the sedative drug is given via a small needle in the back of the hand and then introduced into the blood stream, thereby causing the patient to be sedated. A small monitor is placed on the patient’s finger during treatment to keep a record of the patient’s pulse.

Will sedation effect my dental treatment?

Intravenous sedation is very straightforward procedure and does not effect how your dental treatment is carried out. Once you are sedated, the dentist will proceed with your dental treatment. Having sedation does not remove the need for local anaesthetic. However,having intravenous sedation will reduce the anxiety you feel whilst you are having your dental treatment.

What will happen at the next appointment?

After your initial assessment visit, an appointment will be arranged for you to have your dental treatment under intravenous sedation. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can take you home after the treatment session and stay with you for the rest of the day. You must also have nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to your treatment. A small cannula (needle) will be placed either in the back of your hand or into your arm and the sedative will be introduced. A small monitor will be placed on your finger during treatment to monitor your pulse rate, and oxygen saturation You will remain awake during your period of sedation, although you will probably not remember very much after the effects of the sedation have worn off. Once your dental treatment has been completed, you will be asked to remain in a recovery room until you are ready to be discharged home.