Conscious Sedation has become a preferred method of sedation, for dental patient comfort, as well as other procedures.
Sedation is used during dental procedures to allow patients the ability to tolerate unpleasant diagnostic or surgical procedures and to relieve anxiety and discomfort.
Conscious Sedation may be useful for patients who:
- have a low pain threshold
- can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
- have very sensitive teeth
- have a bad gag reflex
- need a large amount of dental work completed
Conscious Sedation is defined when a patient:
- independently maintains his/her airway
- retains protective reflexes (swallow and gag)
- responds to physical and verbal commands
- is not anxious or afraid
- experiences acceptable pain relief
- has minimal changes in vital signs
- is cooperative during the procedure
- has mild amnesia for the procedure
- recovers to pre-procedure status safely and promptly
Conscious sedation is often used for dentistry, but all methods available to patients are:
- Minimal sedation – you are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation“) – you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep sedation – you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anesthesia – you are completely unconscious.
Just as you may expect, if you’re smart, there are always potential risks when administering any pharmaceutical. Your dentist will offer you information during consultation and will most likely give you some literature to review. Ultimately, conscious sedation is an option for your comfort.
Ask your dentist for additional information on conscious sedation.