Dental Sedation is a method of producing a relaxed experience for the patient by using different sedative medications. These medications do not put you entirely to sleep although you may feel very sleepy while under sedation. It is much lighter and safer than a general anaesthetic.
Any patient who is in need of dental treatment, either for health or cosmetic purposes, but has anxiety and fear about undergoing treatment, or has an extreme fear of needles, is likely to benefit from IV sedation dentistry. Anyone who has had a frightening or traumatic previous dental experience may be nervous about getting back into the dental chair. Sedation can help to overcome this. In addition, patients with a severe gag reflex or people who suffer from medical conditions that render them unable to control their bodily movements such as Parkinson’s disease can benefit from the physical relaxation of sedation.
A sedative drug is administered into the blood stream to make patients feel like they are asleep. However, the patient remains conscious and able to follow requests from the dentist, but the sense of fear and anxiety will be replaced with a feeling of deep relaxation. Most patients will also find that they do not remember much about the experience. Sedation is administered either by an experienced by an qualified anaesthetist. It is a very safe procedure and the sedative takes effect very quickly because the dosage can be easily manipulated by anaesthetist to achieve the desired level of sedation. As the drug has a short half life, the patients are able to get up and walk out straight after treatment, although a chaperone is still legally required. While you are under sedation, the dentist who had seen you for the consultation and treatment planning will carry out the dental treatment. To minimise the number of sedation appointments the dentist will endeavour to carry out as much of the treatment possible in one appointment. The nurse and anaesthetist will constantly be monitoring you and the pulse oxymeter readings, ensuring that you are comfortable, safe and feeling fine at all times. Once the treatment is finished under sedation, the patient is left to relax for a while on the sofa before being escorted back home by a friend or relative. Patients are advised not to work, drive or operate machinery for the rest of the day.