What is Conscious Sedation?

It’s a widely used technique in dental offices, where an anaesthetist administers a sedative intravenously to sedate the patient. The patient is still awake, will breathe normally, can speak and swallow, but is not aware of his/her surroundings. Conscious sedation can also be used for minor surgical procedures, such as removal of wisdom teeth or gum surgery.

Patients that would benefit from this form of sedation are ones that are especially anxious of dental treatments, sufferers of claustrophobia and children to name a few.

How are the sedatives administered?

In cases where the patient is very young or anxious, an oral sedative will be given about 1 hour prior to the procedure.
An IV is connected and the anaesthetist continually monitors the patient, adjusting the dosage accordingly.
At this stage, the patient is sedated but is not asleep, and can still respond to the dentist.

Why choose Conscious Sedation?

Recovery is quick. Within 12 hours the patient can resume regular activities.
It can be performed in a regular dental practice which is less intimidating for anxious patients.
There are virtually no side-effects.
It’s much safer as the patient is carefully monitored, and can still communicate.

What is General Anaesthesia?

It involves the use of drugs to induce an unconscious state in the patient. All the patient’s vital signs are carefully monitored throughout the procedure, and the patient is connected to a ventilator.

The aesthetic is administered by an anaesthesiologist and once the patient is asleep the dentist can continue with the procedure without the patient being aware of anything or having any recollection of anything that was done.

There is a certain amount of risk involved with this procedure but it is usually only used in the cases where mild sedation will not work.