Sedation Dentistry refers to taking a medication in pill form that puts you in a relaxed state of consciousness. You can have your treatment done and you will be very relaxed and may very well sleep part of the time, but you will be responsive to verbal commands. You will walk in and out on your own although we will assist you and escort you to and from the treatment room. Very often patients do not remember the entire visit.
Typically the patient is given 2 medications. A relaxation medication the night before the dental appointment to allow them to relax and get a good night’s sleep followed by a sedation medication administered the morning of the dental appointment. This medication will take effect within about 1 hour and the patient can have their work completed in a relaxed state of consciousness. The appointment generally will be the first appointment in the morning, because it is important that the patient does not eat the morning of the appointment so that the sedation is most effective. For diabetic patients this is modified somewhat for sugar level control. We monitor your sedation and vital signs during the appointment using an electronic monitor of blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation level to be certain that you are safe and comfortable. After the appointment, the patient goes home with the caregiver and is generally very sleepy for most of the day.
With sedation dentistry, the patient must have a caregiver that agrees to drive the patient to and from the dental office and stay with the patient for 24 hours. Many times patients feel as if they are “OK” only to realize later that they do not remember what they did. Therefore it is very important that the patient have a caregiver that is responsible that the patient does not drive, operate dangerous equipment or appliances, sign contracts or go shopping for 24 hours. No major decisions for 24 hours!