Conscious sedation is a technique in which, with one or more sedatives, the patient is in a state of reduced activity of the central nervous system up until the point in which the patient is calm, which enables the doctor to perform certain procedures (the doctor, at the same time, can communicate verbally with the patient). Medications and techniques used to conduct this kind of sedation do not cause the total loss of the consciousness.
The experience has shown that the conduction of a series of procedures, which do not have to necessarily induce pain, still represent certain discomfort for the patients. The factors which contribute to this sensation can be the uncomfortable position in the dental chair, unpleasant noises, the discomfort related to the local anesthesia, etc. Therefore, the sedation plays an important role in enabling you to perceive the appointment at a dentist as a pleasurable experience.
Once you arrive to the dental studio, you will be welcomed by a team of the anaesthesiology team who will take care of you during the very procedure and afterwards. They will take a look at your completed survey about your health condition and ask you a few basic questions. The patients who fit the criteria and are healthy or who have a systematic control over their disease can use the advantages of the sedation. Should you have any question related to the sedation, you can talk about them with your anaesthesiologist. He or she will explain to you all the details of the procedure and their advantages, just like the possible risks before you sign the consent form.
First, we apply the local anaesthetic to your arm after which we introduce a peripheral venous catheter (small, flexible tube) in your arm, usually at the back of your hand or in the forearm through which you will receive the medicaments. You will be attached to the standard monitoring – pulse oximeter (a non-invasive device which measure the patient’s blood-oxygen saturation level) and the oxygen flow above your nose, while, if needed, another monitoring (EKG, pressure gauge, etc.) can be added. The conscious sedation is achieved through the use of sedatives. The sedatives are given through an intravenous line up until ten minutes before the dental procedure and their effect lasts during the duration of the procedure. The patient appears wide awake and conscious of everything, opens his or her eyes when the doctor tells them to do it and answers to the questions, but they are not aware of the time that passes or they feel any pain. Also, they are not disturbed by the noises or they feel any discomfort. Once the procedure is finished the patient spends approximately 20 minutes under the surveillance of our staff in a relaxation room. When the effect of the sedatives wears out the patient goes home with their chaperone. There are lots of factors upon which depends the choice of the sedatives: the type of the dental procedure, the duration of the procedure, etc. The sedation is intended for the longer and more difficult procedure which last for more than twenty minutes. Moreover, it is applied on more radical, demanding and painful procedures (implant installment, prosthetics, etc.), but also it is recommended for the minor procedures with the patients who are afraid.
You are not supposed to drink or eat anything 6 hours before the dental appointment when applying the conscious sedation. Exception: you are allowed to drink plain water up until two hours before the procedure.