What is sedation?
It is designed to help you relax during your dental treatment. Sedation is defined as a technique in which the use of a drug or drugs produces a state of depression of the central nervous system enabling treatment to be carried out more comfortably. You will remain conscious and you will be able to understand and respond to verbal commands. It is normal with sedation to not remember the treatment that you have received.
How do I recover/wake up from sedation?
When your treatment is finished, the dentist stops giving the drug that made you sedated. Your body naturally destroys the drug and slowly returns to normal. For intravenous sedation the first part of recovery takes about one hour, but it can take the rest of the day for all of the sedative to wear off.
Is sedation safe?
Sedation is a very safe procedure with very few side effects. All patients have some feeling of tiredness afterwards and even if they feel fine they still have slower reflexes. Very occasionally people can feel a little sick after sedation.
Instructions for patients undergoing treatment with sedation
Before your appointment:
1. You may eat and drink up to 2 hours before your appointment, but this meal should be a light meal. After this time please do not eat or drink – this includes chewing gum.
2. Bring another adult with you who is OVER the age of 18 years. They MUST wait with you whilst you are having the treatment done and they MUST escort you home.
3. A responsible adult MUST stay with you for at LEAST 24 hours after the treatment.
4. You are requested to make your own arrangements for transport home after treatment; this should be in a car [that you are not driving] or taxi (NOT PUBLIC TRANSPORT).
5. All routine medication should be taken as usual. Any medication you are taking should be brought with you (unless it requires to be kept refrigerated) and discussed with the dental team before your sedation begins, e.g. medications for diabetes or asthma.
6. Wear loose clothing for your appointment.
7. Any illness occurring before the appointment should be reported immediately as it may affect the treatment you receive.
8. DO NOT wear any nail polish or fake nails.
9. Please inform us if you think you may be pregnant.
After treatment and for 24 hours post–op
Although you think you have recovered quite quickly, the effects of your sedation may not have worn off completely until the next day. For the first 24 hours after the procedure it is important that you:
1. Go home with your escort and rest quietly for the rest of the day (24 hours after treatment).
2. Do not drive a vehicle or operate machinery.
3. Do not go out of your home alone; ensure you are with a responsible adult at all times.
4. Do not make important decisions such as purchasing expensive items or signing important documents.
5. Do not worry if you have difficulty remembering what has happened. This is called short term amnesia and is very common after sedation.
6. Please take any medication you have been prescribed as directed, remember to always read the instructions on the label.
7. Local anaesthetic will be used to numb areas of your mouth. Until normal feeling returns:
a. Take care not to chew your lips or cheeks as this can result in ulceration or soreness.
b. Make sure that food and drink is not too hot as you may burn the numbed areas without feeling it.