IV Conscious Sedation:
What Is It?
Moderate conscious sedation is an altered state of consciousness, where you become disassociated with your surroundings. Memory, anxiety levels, and perception of pain are greatly reduced, and you should become very relaxed and comfortable. Most people having moderate sedation “think” they have been asleep because they cannot remember anything that went on from the time the sedation was started to the time they left the office.
How Is It Different From General Anesthesia?
Being “completely out” is called general anesthesia. It differs from IV moderate conscious sedation in many ways. First of all , with general anesthesia you are unconscious and your reflexes are diminished considerably, to the point where you must be aided in breathing through a tube placed down your windpipe. Secondly, the drugs used are very potent and may have undesirable side effects during and after the procedure. Complications tend to increase the longer you are asleep, and you may wind up very nauseous afterwards. This adds up to more risk, expense, and considerably more specialized personnel to monitor you during and after the procedure, with additional time to recover after the anesthesia wears off.
Who Is It For?
Any reasonably healthy person can have moderate sedation with ANY dental procedure, whether it is having your teeth cleaned or surgery.
How Will I Feel?
Essentially you are awake, but you will remember very little and generally feel no discomfort. For example, most people do not recall or feel any part of the procedure, including numbing the teeth. When your appointment is over, the effects of the sedatives may last for several hours and you may be groggy most of the day of your appointment.
How Is It Done?
The sedatives are usually administered intravenously. This way your dentist can be sure you receive the right amount of sedation. Sometimes, oral pre-medication is given to help relax you before your appointment. Because you may feel groggy and disoriented, you will need to have someone available to take you home from the office on the day of your appointment. We cannot sedate patients if they do not have a responsible adult available to accompany them after their appointment.
Is It Safe?
Yes, but it is very important that you let us know about any and all medications and/or drugs you are taking (including alcohol, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, opium, demoral, percodan, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycontin, percocet, pain relief patches) and any medical problems that you may have had so that the sedation procedure can be altered to reflect your special needs. There can be serious side effects if we are not informed of all your medications/drugs and medical conditions. For some, a consultation with your physician will be helpful in preventing unanticipated problems. Failure to inform us of these issues will put you at risk and may result in an emergency situation.
Both of our doctors and all of our staff went to a thorough training multiple days to get certified to perform treatment under IV sedation.