Intravenous sedation is often used to help patients relax during minor surgical procedures. Here’s a little more detail about what is involved.
Giving the sedative: The sedative is given by injection into a vein in your arm or in the back of your hand. You will remain conscious at all times during sedation and will be able to talk and respond to instructions. You will also receive local anaesthetic (an injection into your gums) so that the treatment can be carried out.
Rules for the procedure: If you are having intravenous sedation there are some rules that you must follow for your safety: A responsible adult (friend or relative) must stay in the practice during your treatment and drive you home afterwards. We cannot give you sedation without this. Remember, to tell your dentist before your treatment of any changes in your medical history, your medication and if you have asthma or any allergies.
On the day guidelines: You can have a light meal up to 2 hours before your treatment if you wish. You can drink fluids and take any medicines as normal unless you have been instructed otherwise. However, please do not drink any alcohol.
Immediately after your treatment under sedation: Treatment and recovery time is usually 1 to 2 hours. You will probably have little or no memory of the procedure after it has happened. A responsible adult must drive you home and stay with you for at least 6 hours following the treatment. You must not travel home by public transport.
The next 24 hours: You should stay at home resting quietly for about 24 hours. Do not drive a car, drink alcohol, use machinery (such as a kettle or a bike), do any work or make important decisions for 24 hours. This will allow the effects of the sedation to wear off. You can eat and drink normally as soon as you feel like it. If you feel any pain then do not hesitate to take painkillers.
Download this page as a fact-sheet for printing – Sedation Fact Sheet (PDF file)
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