Conscious sedation, also known as sedative analgesia, is one of the most innovative techniques used in dentistry. Patients are frequently afraid of undergoing dental treatments; it often happens to be afraid or anxious even before having to undergo a dental treatment. The mere sight of a drill or any tool used by the dentist is enough to feed on patients’ fear no matter their age!
In adults, fear is multifactorial and may be due to the tools used, the pain caused by the operation, the uncertainties of the outcomes, sometimes by the clinic itself, an inadequate welcoming by the staff and by potential complications. In some cases fear is so intense that it is called a phobia, such as to create terror and renounce any therapy.
Yet, the techniques to completely calm a patient exist and are part of the dentistry profession. A dentist trained in performing sedation techniques can use anesthesia in all short or long-term dental procedures.
Conscious sedation is a truly unique technique that does not involve side effects or allergies because it does not imply any risks. The patient, once the dental treatment has been performed, can immediately return to a regular social and professional life.
The use of conscious sedation is recommended for all those patients who suffer from panic attacks and find themselves perpetually in an anxious state of mind, as well as to all those who have experienced a trauma during an operation at the dentist’s.
This technique can also be used with children who often show fear and excessive sensitivity before the operation.
Conscious sedation is able to desensitize the oral mucosa by depriving the patient of the pain and, at the same time, provides a sense of well-being and tranquility, essential to face any orthodontic treatment.
It can be performed during any usual orthodontic treatments: extractions, hygiene, implantology, endodontics, periodontal surgery and so on.
HOW DOES CONSCIOUS SEDATION WORK?
A gas called nitrous oxide is used and it is mixed with oxygen by mechanical mixers and inhaled through a nasal mask.
After the operation, the patient receive observation services for about 2 hours; once the patient has been discharged he/she must be accompanied by a family member or friend and must not drive for the whole day.
This technique is recognized by all European scientific dentistry companies as part of the dentistry profession.
The adult patient undergoing a conscious sedation prior to the operation will show drowsiness and relaxation. Once the sedative takes effect, negative emotions, stress, or anxiety may also gradually disappear. This effect is lasting, irreversible and constantly ensures the state of vigilance of the patient throughout the entire operation, which is why this technique is called “conscious sedation”.