Conscious Sedation (Not Pediatric)
Dental anxiety is incredibly common. Conscious sedation drugs are designed to assist in promoting relaxation and comfort for a patient during their treatment.
Conscious sedation techniques reduce worry and concern, allowing anxious patients to receive the treatments they need. Every patient is different, and not all types of conscious sedation are a good fit for all patients. This makes open discussion with your dentist incredibly important during your initial assessment appointment.
At Tulsa Dental Center, we offer a range of techniques and solutions for nervous patients. Contact our team today for more information.
What Is Conscious Sedation?
Conscious sedation alleviates dental anxiety through the use of a sedative.
Once administered, a patient remains conscious and able to respond to verbal instruction, but has little awareness of what is happening and often has no memory of the procedure.
Conscious sedation is not the same as general anesthesia, which is preferable for lengthy and complex procedures.
To assist in pain management, we offer a variety of options, including:
- Local Anaesthesia
Typically delivered via an injection in the gums, local anesthesia numbs the area receiving treatment. Local anesthesia works fairly quickly, delivering complete numbness in a matter of minutes. This pain management method can be used alone or with another conscious sedation option.
- Gas & Air (Relative analgesia)
Gas and air is typically a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen, administered via a nosepiece. This form of conscious sedation is designed to deliver a sense of calm. Gas and air can contribute to feelings of floating or lightness. Recovery is quick, and there aren’t any side effects of this sedation. For patients with a mild to moderate level of dental anxiety, gas and air is a great option.
- Intravenous Sedation
This type of sedative medication is typically delivered through a vein in the hand or arm. Intravenous sedation produces a feeling of deep relaxation but allows you to continue to talk and respond to verbal instruction during treatment. It is common for patients to not remember any of their treatment details following intravenous sedation. Resting for 24 hours following your procedure is encouraged, to allow the sedation to completely wear off.
- Intranasal Conscious Sedation
This form of sedation is administered via your nasal passage, in a concentrated form of sedative.
Your nose may feel tingly for a few minutes, and once the sedative has been initially administered, sometimes a booster is necessary. If that’s the case, the booster will be delivered via your hand or arm.
Oral sedation is administered by ingestion- via a drink. As with intranasal sedation, if the initial dose requires a booster, the booster will be delivered via your hand or arm. Oral sedation is slow to take effect so is not used very often.
Conscious Sedation FAQ
What are the the benefits of Nitrous Oxide?
- Promotes feelings of relaxation
- Wears off quickly
- You remain conscious and responsive throughout
Are there any potential side effects of conscious sedation?
Some experienced side effects include slow reflexes, drowsiness, loss of memory regarding dental treatment, headache, nausea, or lower blood pressure. These side effects typically last less than a couple of hours if they occur at all.
How quickly do you recover from conscious sedation?
Recovering from conscious sedation is typically quick, but not so quick that you can drive yourself home from your procedure. It is essential that you arrange for someone to bring you to your appointment and take you home from your appointment.
Except for nitrous oxide, there is no form of conscious sedation that is compatible with driving. We recommend taking the entire day off of work if you are receiving conscious sedation, and do not attempt to do any physical activities until all side effects have worn off completely.
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