Your dentist has recommended that you have your dental treatment with the help of sedation. Sedation is when drugs are used to make you feel less anxious and more relaxed. It will make you drowsy, less aware of what is happening and with few memories of what has happened to you during your treatment.
It does not make you unconscious and you will be aware of what is happening. Patients will be constantly monitored throughout the procedure. Sedative drugs (medicines) can be given in a number of ways. Your dentist will decide, with you, which type is the best for your planned dental treatment. There are different levels of sedation and several methods can be used. You may have sedation:
- by breathing in gas through a nosepiece (inhalation)
- by injection into a vein in your hand or arm (intravenous)
- by swallowing a medicine (oral)
- by placing a medicine under your tongue or into the nose (transmucosal)
The team will discuss the best method to use for you and your treatment. We will give you some information about the type of sedation you will be having for your treatment. If you are particularly anxious about treatment intravenous sedation is often the most practical solution. Further information regarding the various types of sedation is available by clicking on the blue headings above, or in person at the practice during pre-assessment if this is more suitable.
Our team will give you some instructions to follow. These are important for your safe and comfortable care. For most types of sedation, you will need someone to come with you on the day of your treatment so that he or she can look after you when you go home. You may be drowsy for up to 24 hours afterwards. Your escort will also be given some important information about how best to look after you following your treatment under sedation.
Patient escort information
You have been asked to accompany someone who is having dental treatment under sedation. Patients can feel less anxious if they receive a sedative drug (medicine) before or during their dental treatment. The drugs used can cause some patients to feel a little disorientated or confused for a short time after the treatment. It is important that someone will be responsible for them and take care of them for the remainder of the day. For intravenous sedation it is necessary for someone to stay with them overnight.
It is important that you follow these instructions. The patient will have been given a telephone number of who to contact if you have any concerns. The patient will not be allowed to go home until the dentist is satisfied that the patient is in the care of a responsible adult (over 18 years of age). The escort must remain on the premises during treatment and be able to escort the patient home from the dental surgery. Public transport is not usually considered appropriate. Some patients take a little longer than others to be ready to go home so please be aware that a precise time cannot always be given.
The patient’s judgement (ability to think clearly) is likely to be affected. Patients should not make any irreversible decisions for up to 24 hours following their treatment. Patients should be encouraged to rest for a while once they are home. It is not recommended for them to be in charge of others until the next day. Care should be taken when cooking or using domestic appliances.
Patients should not drive a vehicle, ride a bicycle, operate machinery or drink alcohol until the following day and, in some cases, for up to 24 hours. The dentist will advise the patient on the day of treatment. Owing to the after effects of the drugs used, care should be taken when using the internet for personal communication. The dentist will explain to the patient which pain relief medicines he or she may take. Patients should take their usual prescribed medicines unless directed otherwise by their doctor or dentist.