Conscious Sedation


We understand that many people are anxious about visiting the dentist and aim to make the experience as relaxing and pain free as possible. Our experienced team are trained to help those patients who are scared of visiting the dentist, sometimes this can be achieved with compassion and understanding or if required with dental sedation for the very anxious patient.

Sedation is a procedure that makes use of sedative medications to produce a relaxed experience for the patient that enables the dentist to perform the required procedure. Sedation dentistry is different from general anaesthesia as the patient remains conscious but feels very relaxed.

Dental sedation is a highly skilled procedure and can only be performed by a fully qualified dentist or anaesthetist.

Procedure

A small cannula is placed into a vein in the hand or arm. The sedationist administers one or more drugs into the vein. The amount of drug varies according to the individual patient's needs and weight. It is accompanied by local anaesthetic injected to the area being treated and this is the main reason why the patient will not feel any pain during the treatment.

This type of sedation is very effective and leaves most patients slightly sleepy for the rest of the day. It produces excellent amnesia (little or no memory of the experience) and this means normally the patient feels that the time spent under sedation was shorter than it actually was.

Conscious sedation is not a replacement for general anaesthetic. At no time is the patient unconscious during the procedure, and will respond to command from the clinical staff and may even hear the conversations taking place. This may not be recalled afterwards due to the amnesia.

The patient is constantly monitored throughout the procedure to ensure the optimum level of sedation is achieved.

Recovery from sedation is a progressive step-down from completion of treatment, through to the patient’s discharge into the care of a responsible adult escort. A specially trained recovery nurse looks after the patient after the dental treatment is complete. The patient will be monitored throughout their time in recovery and will then be discharged by the sedationist.

All patients are individually assessed for their suitability to be discharged by the trained recovery nurse and patients are only allowed to leave when they have returned to a normal level of responsiveness and can walk unaided (if appropriate).

The patient and escort are always provided with written details of post-operative risks and management of possible complications. They will also be given information regarding aftercare arrangements and emergency contacts.