What is sedation?
Sedation is a treatment used to alleviate anxiety and fear; it is used for medical and dental procedures and involves the patient taking sedative medication. Sedatives make people feel calm and they induce a relaxed state, which makes dental treatment less daunting and enables dentists to focus on the task, rather than worrying about their patient feeling uncomfortable. Sedation also helps to prevent patients from feeling pain.
What happens when you are sedated?
When you are given sedatives (either in tablet form or through a mask or an IV drip), you will start to feel a little drowsy and sleepy and you will feel completely relaxed. Sedation does not make you lose consciousness like general anaesthetic and you will be able to speak to your dentist if you wish to.
After sedation it will take a little time for you to come around and feel completely alert again and patients are advised to arrange for a friend or relative to accompany them home. It is not advisable to drive, drink alcohol, exercise or operate machinery for at least 24 hours after sedation.
Sedation can be really beneficial for patients who have dental phobia because it makes the idea of having treatment much less scary and this means that patients will feel more inclined to go to their dentist. Missing appointments increases the risk of oral health problems and studies have linked poor oral health to an increased risk of general health problems.