Posted on 23rd January 2018
What is Conscious Sedation?
Most of our treatments are carried out under local anaesthetic – an injection renders the numbed area pain-free. If a patient is particularly anxious, we can offer an oral sedative such as Temazepam or a process known as ‘conscious sedation’ which involves administering an intravenous sedative to the level where the patient is extremely relaxed and tolerant to pain, but conscious and able to respond to verbal commands. The technique of conscious sedation is useful for calming anxiety and is significantly less likely to result in unpleasant side effects than an unnecessary general anaesthesia.
We are absolutely committed to making the patient journey free from pain and anxiety. Conscious sedation is an ideal choice for long procedures which have the potential to cause some discomfort. If a patient has opted for conscious sedation, the sedative will be administered and monitored by a qualified anaesthetist. The sedative causes a temporary amnesia in many patients. This has the positive effect of the patient being unable to remember the procedure that they have undergone – despite being conscious and responsive throughout.
If you don’t consider yourself to be an overly anxious patient, but you would like to be calmer during your treatment – we meet a lot of patients that are fine with the surgery, but don’t like injections – we are able to offer a simple oral sedative that our practitioners are qualified to prescribe and administer. This is a more cost-effective option than conscious sedation: typically costing around £10. We also use a numbing gel on the site of the injection of local anaesthetic that reduces sensation. Our patient Lawrence talks about the use of numbing gel during his Root Surface Debridement treatment:
Side Effects of Conscious Sedation
Coming round from a general anaesthetic often leaves patients feeling nauseous and needing to vomit. The good news is that conscious sedation has a much lower incidence of these unpleasant side effects. Fewer than 1% of patients report post sedation nausea following dental surgery under conscious sedation.
At Norfolk Dental Specialists, our primary concern is the always the patient. Every treatment programme is individually tailored to the patient’s needs. Conscious sedation is a procedure that we can use, but it is not suitable for every patient. At your initial consultation, we will discuss all the options available to you and devise a treatment plan that meets your needs.
If you would like more information about any of our procedures, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call our reception on 01603 632525 or make an enquiry using our online form.
For regular articles on subjects related to the dental profession, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.