Conscious Sedation: Definition, Procedures, Side Effects, and More

Conscious Sedation: Definition, Procedures, Side Effects, and More

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Written By: Poulami Saha | 11 April 2024

“We confirm your dental appointment tomorrow.”
Does this message give you anxiety the moment it pops up on your screen?
You’re not alone.
Regular dental checkups are crucial for maintaining good oral health, but many people avoid them due to anxiety about dental procedures. If pain sensitivity adds to your worries, conscious sedation could be the answer. It allows you to relax and feel calm during your treatment. In this blog, we will let you know more about what conscious sedation is and how it can be beneficial for you.

What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious sedation is a sedation method that is widely used by dentists across the globe for individuals (especially kids) who are afraid, nervous, or having issues remaining calm during the process of treating a dental disease. Sedation dentistry refers to the procedure when medications like Nitrous oxide and other harmless chemicals are used to relax the patient for doing dental treatments like root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cleaning, etc. With the help of conscious sedation, you can be all conscious during the entire procedure, but you won’t feel even a bit of discomfort. That’s the magic!
PS: If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit a dentist to determine if a root canal is needed.

Do You Need Conscious Sedation?


Well, there is a great chance that you might have phobias about dental procedures or get anxious when you imagine that you have to face them. But the fact is that you can’t simply dodge any dental treatment that you need just because of your fear. Many other factors say that you require conscious sedation during your next dental appointment. Some of them are given below:
  • You have phobias, anxiety, or fear of the dentist.
  • You’ll be undergoing a severe or long dental procedure.
  • You are a person who has no patience and can’t stand still.
  • You have a fear of needles and other equipment.
  • You suffered from the problem of tooth sensitivity.
  • You have a low tolerance for pain.
  • You have TMJ issues and can’t bite for too long due to that.

What Is The Procedure For Conscious Sedation?

The exact procedure for conscious sedation can depend on the treatment you are undergoing and the dosage of your medication, but the general steps of the procedure are given below:

1. The BriefingAt the outset, conscious sedation involves your dentist explaining all the sedation processes to you so that you may understand them easily.


2. The Actual SessionNext, you’ll be receiving the sedation through an oral tablet, an IV line, or a facial mask that lets you inhale the sedative.


3. Wait for the Effect The IV line and facial mask technique are mostly instant or take a few minutes, while the oral tablet may take about 30–40 minutes to exhibit the best effects.


4. The Treatment After the medication has begun to take effect, your dentist will start the procedure. Thanks to conscious sedation, you’ll not be fully asleep and will have a full memory of what is happening. You can even talk to your dentist about how the procedure is going on, and to your benefit, you will not feel any discomfort or pain.


5. Additional Step Conscious sedation is not a procedure that they suggest in the consultation. You should go to your dentist and check to see whether it is the right solution for you.

What are the Side Effects of Conscious Sedation?


The most common side effects of conscious sedation can have an effect on you for a few hours after the procedure is done. Some of the side effects are:
  • drowsiness
  • feelings of heaviness or sluggishness
  • slow reflexes
  • low blood pressure
  • headache
  • feeling sick

Some Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Is conscious sedation better than general anaesthesia?
A: You will be taken on a mild conscious sedation journey that is completely effective. Moreover, you can have complete control over your natural physiological reflexes, and you’ll be able to breathe yourself and pay attention to the surrounding area.


Q: What does conscious sedation feel like?
A: Conscious sedation can exhibit different effects according to the person; while some may not even feel anything, most may feel some tingling all over their body. This is mostly experienced on the hands and feet.

What’s The Final Take?

If you have a pending dental appointment written down in your to-do list and you are avoiding it because of the fear you have, you should opt for conscious sedation today. It’s very budget-friendly and has a lot fewer side effects. It can also motivate you to visit your dentist, experience all the benefits of dental checkup, and take good care of your smile.
For expert guidance and your first experience of conscious sedation, swing by Apex Dental Clinics. Our experienced dentists know the game inside out and can guide you through your smile makeover journey.