Dentist easing patients nerves by explaining work

What Is Conscious Sedation? Your Questions Answered.

Millions of people in the United States suffer from dental anxiety, and some even forgo regular dental care out of fear. Unfortunately, this can lead to more serious, time consuming, and costly treatments in the future. If your heart begins to race at the thought of visiting the dentist’s office, rest assured there are ways to relieve your worry.

Conscious sedation is the process of administering sedatives to reduce anxiety, discomfort, and pain during dental procedures. With conscious sedation, you are always aware of your surroundings, but your senses of sound and smell are reduced, and your sense of pain is also diminished. Common drugs used for conscious sedation, and administered via IV, include Versed (midazolam) and fentanyl.

What Does Conscious Sedation Feel Like?

As everyone is unique, the effects of sedation vary from person to person. Here are a few sensations that you may experience as the sedative takes effect:

  • drowsiness and relaxation are the most common sensations
  • negative emotions, stress, or anxiety may gradually disappear
  • tingling throughout your body, especially in your arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • heaviness or sluggishness that makes it feel harder to lift or move your limbs
  • everything and everyone around you appears to slow down; your reflexes may be delayed, and you may respond or react more slowly to physical stimuli or to conversation; and you may even start smiling or laughing for no apparent reason

What Procedures Is Conscious Sedation Used For?

Conscious sedation is commonly used in dentistry for people who feel anxious or panicked during routine procedures like cleanings, fillings, crown replacements and root canals. You should let the dentist know whether conscious sedation is something you would like to consider. Typically, only local numbing agents are used for these routine procedures.

However, the staff at Evers Dental Center understands visits to the dentist can be stressful for many. We want to remove that stress or fear, so our patients feel good about their general oral health and take the proper preventative care to maintain it.

What Does Conscious Sedation Look Like?

You’ll sit down in the dentist’s chair, just like you normally would.

The dentist will wait to begin until the sedative takes effect. As everyone is unique, times vary. Generally, this wait time is short, only a few minutes.

The dentist will monitor your breathing throughout the administration and procedure.

Are there any side effects to Conscious Sedation?

  • Some potential side effects of conscious sedation include:
  • drowsiness
  • feelings of heaviness or sluggishness
  • loss of memory of what happened during the procedure (amnesia)
  • slow reflexes

Who Is a Good Candidate for Conscious Sedation?

The best way to determine if conscious sedation is right for you is to schedule an appointment with our compassionate and knowledgeable team. After discussing your medical history and your feelings towards dental procedures, we will be able to determine if conscious sedation is right for you or your family member. Contact us today.

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