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Oral Conscious Sedation

What is it?
Oral conscious sedation is an altered state of consciousness, where you become disassociated with your surroundings. Memory, anxiety levels, and perception of pain are greatly reduced, and you become very relaxed and comfortable. For example, most people having oral conscious sedation “think” they have been asleep because they cannot remember anything that went on from the time the sedation was started to the time they left the office.

How Is It Different From “Being Asleep?”
“Being asleep” for dental treatment is called general anesthesia. It differs from oral conscious sedation in many ways. First of all, you are unconscious and your reflexes are diminished considerably, to the point where you must have someone breath for you through a tube placed down your windpipe. Secondly, the drugs used are very potent and may have undesirable side effects during and after the procedure. Complications tend to increase the longer you are asleep, and you may wind up nauseous afterwards. This adds more risk and considerable more personnel to monitor you during and after the procedure. For this reason, it is usually done in a hospital/ambulatory setting where proper support is available.

Who Is It for?
A reasonably healthy person can have oral conscious sedation with any dental procedure, whether it is having your teeth cleaned or for procedures.

How Will It Feel?
Essentially, you are awake, but you will remember very little and feel no discomfort. What you do recall will not be unpleasant. For example, most people do not recall or feel any part of the procedure, including numbing of the teeth. When your appointment is over, the effects of the sedatives may last for as many hours as your age and leave you feeling groggy.

How Is It Done?
Dr. Truong will prescribe and issue your medication at your pre-operative appointment. She will give you instructions when to take the medication. Most often you will be begin taking the medication the night before. You will be given additional medication before and during the appointment.

Is It Safe?
YES, but it is important that you let us know about any and all medications, recreational drugs, and supplements (including alcohol) and any medial problems that you may have had, so that the sedation procedure can be altered to reflect your special needs. For some, a consultation with your general practitioner may be necessary to prevent unanticipated problems.