By: Dr. Arie Yuffa, Specialty Doctor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 
 
Conscious sedation is the administration of a medicine to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anaesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. 
 
Conscious sedation is a great ally for procedures in patients with certain degree of anxiety and highly recommended for procedures of long duration specially in placement of dental implants or complex dental extractions, but it can be applied to any dental treatment. 
What is conscious sedation? 
 
Conscious sedation is the administration of a medicine to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anaesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. This will help you to obtain the required treatment without the anxiety and undesired sensations that comes with it. 
 
 
Why would I need sedation? 
 
Conscious sedation is a great ally for procedures in patients with certain degree of anxiety and highly recommended for procedures of long duration specially in placement of dental implants or complex dental extractions, but it can be applied to any dental treatment. 
 
If you are very nervous about needles, or any procedure you will receive, then you should ask your dentist if sedation is available and provided at your practice. Don’t hesitate to ask for this. 
 
Sedation is well controlled and is generally very safe. 
 
Who provides the sedation? 
 
A doctor trained in sedation, will give you sedation in the clinic. There will be also a specialised nurse also trained in sedation. 
 
What happens during the process? 
 
You may receive the medicine through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein) or in other different ways. You will begin to feel drowsy and relaxed very quickly. The medicine will wear off quickly on its own but it can also be reverted with an antidote if it becomes necessary. 
 
Who provides the sedation? 
 
A doctor trained in sedation, will give you sedation in the clinic. There will be also a specialised nurse also trained in sedation. 
 
 
What happens during the process? 
 
You may receive the medicine through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein) or in other different ways. You will begin to feel drowsy and relaxed very quickly. The medicine will wear off quickly on its own but it can also be reverted with an antidote if it becomes necessary. 
 
If your doctor gives you the medicine by mouth, you will feel the effects after about 30 to 60 minutes. 
 
Your breathing will slow down, and your blood pressure may drop a little. Your nurse or doctor will monitor you constantly during your procedure to make sure you are okay. This person will stay with you at all times during the procedure. 
 
You should not need help with your breathing. But you may receive extra oxygen through a mask in certain cases. 
 
You may fall asleep in most cases, but you will wake up easily to respond to people in the room. You may be able to respond to verbal cues. After conscious sedation, you may feel drowsy and not remember much about your procedure, and this is great for most nervous patients. 
 
 
What happens after the procedure? 
 
After conscious sedation, you will feel sleepy and very rarely you may have a headache or feel sick to your stomach. During recovery, you will still be monitored for some time. 
 
The specialised nurse or doctor will make sure you are fit for discharge. 
 
You should be able to go home within an hour after your procedure, and you should always be with someone escorting you for the next 12-24 hours. 
 
Specialty Doctor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, UK 
Associate Dental Surgeon & Sedationist at SmileUp Dental, London (smileupdental.co.uk
Member of The Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry. 
Main Author & Developer of The OMFS Handbook mobile App. (omfshandbook.com
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