Conscious Sedation 

Are you a nervous dental patient? 

Has this fear previously stopped you taking care of your oral health? If so, Geraldine and her team at Bridge View Dental can help! Geraldine has completed specialised postgraduate training at the Dublin Dental University Hospital  to administer Intravenous Conscious Sedation. Conscious sedation is a carefully controlled technique whereby a patient is brought to a deeply relaxed state, decreasing anxiety and facilitating dental treatment in a safe controlled way. It involves the use of a sedative drug that will induce a state of calm deep relaxation, being unaware of the sights, smells and sounds of the surgery. The use of conscious sedation has been a revelation in the treatment of all kinds of nervous dental patients. As there will be some restrictions on your activity levels after receiving sedation, you must be accompanied by and escort and ensure that you have the appropriate supports in place for afterwards.

Here are some commonly asked questions about Conscious Sedation, if you need further help please do not hesitate to contact us.

What does it feel like? Will I be asleep?

No. You remain conscious during conscious IV sedation. You will also be able to understand and respond to requests and you will remain in control of your breathing. Conscious sedation induces a state of deep relaxation where the patient remains in control of their own breathing and is responsive to requests throughout the procedure. However, you may not remember much (or anything at all) about the procedure.

The drugs used for IV sedation produce either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when the drug first takes effect until it wears off. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly and you will not recall much of what happened. Many people remember nothing at all. So it may, indeed, appear as if you were “asleep” during the procedure.

Who is best suited for sedation/
High dental anxiety?

– A planned difficult or traumatic procedure
– A strong gag reflex
– Complex dental problems
– An unpleasant childhood memory of dental care.

How is IV sedation given?

“Intravenous” means that the drug is administered directly into a vein. An extremely thin needle is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin in either the arm or the back of your hand.

Throughout the procedure, your pulse and oxygen levels are measured using a pulse oximeter. This gadget clips onto a finger or an earlobe and measures pulse and oxygen saturation. Your blood pressure is monitored before, during and after the procedure. 

What are the Drugs that are used?

Benzodiazepine, usually midazolam, is used. A typical IV session takes up to 1 1/2 hours.

Is it still necessary to be numbed with local anaesthetic?

The drug commonly used for IV sedation is an anti-anxiety drug rather than a pain-killer. While it will relax you and make you forget what happens, you will still need to be numbed. This is not done until the sedation has taken effect and you are fully relaxed.

Is it safe? Are there any contraindications?

IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist and dental team.

However, some contraindications include:

– Pregnancy
– Known allergy to benzodiazepines
– Alcohol intoxication
– CNS depression
– Some Liver or kidney disease.

After IV Sedation

Have your escort take you home and rest for the remainder of the day. You must travel home by car and not by public transport.

Have an adult stay with you until you are fully alert.

Do not perform any strenuous or hazardous activities, drive a motor vehicle or operate any heavy machinery for the rest of the day. 

Do not sign any legal documents for the rest of the day.

Do not eat a heavy meal immediately. If you are hungry, eat something light, e. g. liquids and toast.

Take any medications as directed.