Conscious Sedation

Dental anxiety is something experienced by many people when they visit the Dr. Roulston. Conscious sedation drugs are designed to help a patient relax and feel comfortable throughout their treatment. 

Conscious sedation techniques can help anxious patients get the treatment they need without having to feel overly worried or concerned about the procedure. Not all types of conscious sedation are suitable for all patients, so it’s important to discuss this with Dr. Roulston during the initial assessment appointment.

What Is Conscious Sedation?

By definition, conscious sedation is a way to relieve dental anxiety via a sedative. When administered, a patient will remain conscious, but they will become far less aware of what is happening, and in some cases, there is little to no memory of the procedure. Conscious sedation differs from general anesthesia, and this is usually favored for procedures that are longer and more complex.

What treatment options are available?

There are many options that can help with the management of pain when you receive treatment at Glenpool Dentistry. Here is a summary of the most common options.

Local Anaesthesia

This is typically delivered via an injection in the gums. It will gently numb the area that is being treated, and it takes a mere matter of minutes to work. Some dentists will use this in isolation or in tandem with another conscious sedation option listed below.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

For those of you who have any prior experience with laughing gas, this is typically a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen that gets delivered via a nosepiece. It is designed to give patients a sense of relaxation and calm. Many patients report a sense of feeling floaty and light, and the recovery is quick. There aren’t any effects of this sedation, and it is particularly effective for those with a mild to moderate level of dental anxiety.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This is a sedative delivered in liquid or pill form that is ingested. The medication is dispensed at our office so patients can be monitored throughout treatment.

Patients typically start to feel the effects within 45 minutes. It produces a feeling
of deep relaxation while still giving you the ability to cooperate and respond.

Many patients don’t remember the details of their treatment, and it is
recommended that you rest for a period of 24-hours following the procedure so
that the sedation can fully wear off.

The Benefits of Nitrous Oxide

What will conscious sedation feel like?

Every patient will experience slight differences when using conscious sedation. Typically, you can expect to feel relaxed and slightly drowsy. Once the conscious sedation starts to take effect, then any stress, negative feelings, and anxiety will start to subside. Some patients will fall asleep, but still be awake enough to respond to commands.

It could also be accompanied by a feeling of sluggishness or heaviness, and it might be harder to move or lift your limbs. Some people will respond slower to any questions or stimulus, and others might even start to laugh or smile without reason. This was indeed what gave it the nickname of laughing gas many years ago when it was first used.

Are there any potential side effects of conscious sedation?

Typically, some of the side effects that may only last for a couple of hours include drowsiness, slower reflexes, memory loss of what occurred during the procedure, headache, nausea, or lower blood pressure

How quickly do you recover from conscious sedation?

Recovering from conscious sedation is usually quick, but you will still need to arrange for someone else to drive you home following the procedure.

You will always be asked to take the full day off work and that you do not undertake any physical activities until all of the side effects have completely worn off.

If you would like to speak with our team about whether or not conscious sedation is right for you, please contact us today for a discussion about your individual needs.


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