Conscious Sedation

What is Sedation?

Conscious sedation is a commonly used & is a safe procedure with verbal contact with the patient being maintained throughout the period of sedation.

Sedation is not sleep, but a drug induced state that reduces awareness and your ability to respond. The procedure still requires local anaesthetic and this will be given once your chosen method of sedation has been achieved. IV sedation has a strong amnesic effect, and it is unlikely that you will remember much at all about the surgery.

Conscious or intravenous (IV) sedation involves the administration of a sedative drug through a fine plastic tube (cannula) into a vein, usually in the back of your hand or arm. You will become drowsy and may not remember any of your dental treatment. It is vital that you can still cooperate with your dentist so you will remain conscious though relaxed. You will be monitored continuously throughout your treatment and the sedation can be topped up at any time.

You must have someone with you to take you home after the procedure and should not be alone during the evening and overnight of the day of surgery. You are also advised against taking sole responsibility for children for 24 hours after having sedation.

Please ensure that for a couple of days before your sedation appointment you keep very well hydrated, this will assist with the sedation process.

What to expect on the day

You will remain conscious during this kind of sedation.

You may experience a temporary loss of memory during the time that you are sedated. Many patients have no memory of the procedure at all. You may feel unsteady on your feet for some hours after the procedure. Your ability to think clearly and make judgements may be affected for the next 24 hours. You may experience some forgetfulness.

You must be accompanied by an able-bodied adult who can take responsibility for you following your treatment. This person must be able to stay with you overnight. If arrangements have not been made for someone to accompany you after treatment, you will not be able to have the sedation.

If you have any questions or are unclear about having your sedation, then do not hesitate to ask the dentist.


After the treatment

Your judgement may be affected by the drugs. This is similar to the effects of consuming alcohol. You should not drive a car, ride a bicycle, or operate machinery until the following day. In some cases, this may be for as long as 24 hours.

Before you are discharged, the dentist or dental nurse will give you and the adult accompanying you (escort) important information about your care. You will be given information relating to any local analgesia and the treatment you have received. The dentist will also provide details of pain relief as well as how and when to take other prescription medicines.

You will be given a telephone number of who to contact if you have any problems as a result of your treatment


Pre-treatment consent

Due to the specific nature of the sedation treatment, you will be asked to confirm, by signing a form, that you have read and understand the advice set out by the dentist, and that you consent to having sedation treatment as prescribed by your dentist. You will be asked to re-confirm this consent on the day of treatment.