Conscious Sedation: A Basic Guide

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry in San Antonio

One of the things that prevent people to visit oral health practitioners for a scheduled or routine dental procedure is the fear of potential pain. However, dentists can alleviate your anxieties through conscious sedation.

What is conscious sedation?

There are different levels of sedation in dentistry, and one of its levels is moderate or conscious sedation. You will receive pain killers and sedatives either through injection or through your mouth. These medications will then alter your state of consciousness and thereby reducing pain and discomfort. Also, you can either sleep or remain awake during this type of sedation. In fact, you can still communicate and respond to the healthcare providers even when moderately sedated. However, amnesia is also a common side effect which may expunge your memory of the procedure.

Who can give a conscious sedation?

For a moderate level sedation, there are a lot of healthcare professionals that can administer it. Anesthesiologists and Certified Nurse Anesthetists are the most common providers of conscious sedation. In addition, doctors who specialize in oral surgery, dentists, and a few physicians are also capable of delivering this type of sedation. In some institutions, there are Registered Nurses who are specially trained to help during the sedation process.

What are the effects of conscious sedation?

After receiving the medications for sedation such as pain killers and sedatives, you will feel relaxed and drowsy. The speed of the effect is determined by how the medications are administered. If it is given through injection, then the effects will be immediate. Oral administration of the meds will take effect after 30- 60 minutes.

Your breathing will slow down, and blood pressure will drop. You do not need to worry about this as healthcare providers will always be there to monitor your status throughout the procedure.

After the procedure, you feel nauseous and hangover. You can also experience a headache. You will also experience momentary amnesia where you will feel that you do not have any idea of the appointment or the procedure itself.

What should you do after the procedure?

You can go home an hour or two after the procedure provided that someone is there to drive you home. It is usually advised that you do not make a critical decision in the next 24-hours as you are still under the influence of the sedatives. It is also necessary that you forego operating complex machines or equipment or doing any hazardous activity for the next 24 hours. Your healthcare provider will give you a follow-up call to check on you and answer any question you may have.