What Is Conscious Sedation?
When you are placed under conscious sedation, you enter a state of disassociation with yourself and your surroundings. You remain awake and able to perform basic requests, but your consciousness is altered dramatically. As a result, you lose a tremendous amount of memory, anxiety, and perception, and end up feeling quite a bit more relaxed. Many times, people who are placed under conscious sedation believe that they were asleep for the duration of the procedure because they can’t recall being awake.
How Is Conscious Sedation Different From Being Asleep?
If we wanted you to be fully asleep during a procedure, that would fall under the sedation treatment known as general anesthesia. General anesthesia consists of placing you under sedation that renders you completely unconscious, meaning you are unable to keep your eyes open, or respond to requests that we make of you. General anesthesia diminishes your reflexes and responses to the point that sometimes you must have a machine help you breathe. The drugs that we use to place patients under general anesthesia have some undesirable effects during and after the procedure. The longer that you stay under the effects of general anesthesia the more complications you are at risk for. For this reason, when patients are placed under general anesthesia, it is usually done in a hospital with a staff that can handle such safety precautions.
Conscious sedation means that you are kept in a wakeful state. By staying awake you get to avoid most of the unpleasant side-effects of going under general anesthesia. Upon the completion of a procedure where you are given nitrous oxide, for example, you can expect to feel fine several minutes after sedation ends. Grogginess occasionally follows nitrous oxide but can often be combatted by letting you breath an oxygen rich mixture for three to five minutes following the procedure.
As with all sedation, people respond to different substances different so we always advise that you bring a friend or family member who can act as a chaperone, and valet to get you home safely if you have any adverse effects to the sedation. We are able to treat almost all adverse effects almost immediately but some can linger.
Are there Risks to Conscious Sedation?
There are always some minor risks associated with sedation of any kind but at Neil E. Bergstrom, DDS, we are professionals that deal solely with sedation and are the best, most highly trained people to have by your side when you do receive sedation.
We are prepared for every eventuality and are well versed in minor to major emergencies. You are in the most qualified hands when you choose Neil E. Bergstrom, DDS!
Before the Procedure
We always require that you fill out a medical interest form that details any existing or knowing medical history that you have. We need to know about possible allergies and previous medical conditions before we place you under any form of sedation. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, that is always of interest to us.
If you are a smoker of tobacco user, it would be wise to try to abstain from such substances for a few days before the procedure as they can adversely affect the procedure.