Sedation

For those that would rather not know.

What is conscious sedation?

The effective management of anxiety and pain is an essential part of the delivery of dental care. Behavioural management, the use of local analgesia and methods of conscious sedation are all central components of care for patients who are frequently anxious about receiving dental treatment. Conscious sedation, provided when appropriate, in a skilled manner and in the correct environment, is widely used, valuable and effective. The level of sedation must be such that the patient remains conscious and is able to both understand and respond to verbal commands either alone or accompanied by a light tactile stimulus. A sedated patient may remember the procedures, but will be more relaxed. In this kind of sedation we have easy contact with the patient, and the patients can hear us when we are talking to them.

Method

Intravenous sedation is usually given by using a single drug called midazolam or a few medications in combination to enhance the effect of the sedation. A dose of the drug is chosen for the patient individually. It is given by injection into a vein in the back of a hand or in an arm through a cannula. A cannula is a thin flexible tube. It is normal to feel a scratch when the cannula is inserted. Once the cannula is in the vein, the sedation drug can be given without using any more needles. The cannula remains in until the dentist has checked that the patient has recovered from the sedation but it will be removed before the patient goes home. It is usual to have at least two appointments. The first appointment will be an assessment when your dental treatment under sedation will be planned and discussed with you. The dental treatment under sedation will take place at the second and subsequent appointments. The participating team has an anaesthetist, a dentist and a nurse. They watch you closely and treat any problems that may develop. They are also required to use appropriate monitoring equipment during sedation. There will be a recovery area where you will be observed until you have made a full recovery from the sedation.