Conscious Sedation at Bristol Dental Practice
We aim to make procedures at Bristol Dental Practice as comfortable as possible for you. If you are nervous or don’t want to know anything about your treatment, then this treatment may be the best option for you. This additional treatment will be discussed with you prior to undergoing any treatment, and will just become part of your treatment plan.
What is conscious sedation?
This procedure can be administered via a number of ways. At Bristol Dental Practice we favour intravenous sedation, this is because it is the most predictable and powerful method. In conscious sedation, we will administer a drug via the back of your hand that will prevent you from being aware of your procedure being carried out. You will typically not remember anything about the treatment, and it will seem to pass very quickly.
Why use conscious sedation?
The following are common reasons why patients opt for sedation:
- If you are very nervous of dentistry or have a fear of dentistry originating from childhood
- If you would prefer to not be aware of what is going on; sedation will allow you to have little to no memory of the procedure
- Some people have a very sensitive gag-reflex or may experience a choking sensation when a dentist is looking inside your mouth; sedation dramatically reduces the sensitivity of the gag-reflex allowing you to have the dental procedure performed in comfort and ease
- We usually recommend conscious sedation to those patients who are having longer procedures, as it has a time-dilation effect, thereby making it seem as if the surgery time passes by much more quickly
- We will perform a thorough medical check prior to treatment to ensure that you are fit and well enough for conscious sedation
How should I prepare for conscious sedation?
Before your visit for conscious sedation you should:
- Bring another adult (chaperone) with you who can be with you for the next 24 hours
- Have a light meal
- Wear flat comfortable shoes
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt or a ‘T’-shirt so that we can check your blood pressure and administer the sedative drug in your hand
- Have no nail varnish or false finger-nails on at least two fingers. We use a special finger monitor during conscious sedation to check your heart rate and oxygen saturation levels. The monitor does not work through nail varnish
Will I be awake?
Yes, you will be awake for the whole procedure. This is important to us as you can help us by informing us how you are and whether you are comfortable. However, you will not recall anything about the procedure after the event i.e. amnesia. You will also feel very relaxed and content throughout.
How long is the conscious sedation effective for?
The conscious sedation procedure is most effective in the first 30 minutes. Its effect can be prolonged by providing additional small incremental doses. Although the sedative drug wears off swiftly you may experience drowsiness for up to the next 24 hours. It is therefore important that for the next 24 hours you do not:
- Drive a vehicle
- Operate machinery
- Cook or use a kettle
- Sign any legal documents
Who will administer the sedation?
Your sedation will be administered by our conscious sedation qualified dentist Dr Jonathan Cochrane, who has undertaken a year long training programme at the Eastman Dental Hospital (UCL) in London. You will also be continually carefully monitored by our conscious sedation trained dental nurses who also hold additional qualifications and training in conscious sedation.