Conscious Sedation Dentistry: Stay Calm & Sentient During Extensive Dental Procedures


There are a lot of people who feel anxious when they head for an appointment with their dentist. They are afraid of sitting on the dental chair and the dentist looking into their oral cavity to check if there is an infection, tooth decay, or gum disease. For such people who feel anxiety, the worst is yet to come i.e., when the doctor advises them to go for some extensive dental procedure that requires invasive technique. No matter the age, I am sure that we all get confused at such a point thinking about the pain and discomfort that will be caused by it. In that case, we have conscious Sedation dentistry that helps us to stay calm and conscious while the dentist is carrying out the treatment procedure.

conscious sedation for tooth extraction

The Definition of how this works:

When we talk about Conscious Sedation dentistry, we mean to sedate the patient to a level that he remains conscious to have a verbal communication but cannot feel the pain & discomfort caused by the ongoing treatment. He will be awake and replying to all the questions that the other person might be asking him. However, this is not a regular sedation type because it is specifically given to people who fall under the category of:

1. People with anxiety and dental phobia: Such people refuse to take the treatment because their heart starts beating faster when they sit on the dental chair & they just feel very uneasy. They have a phobia of having a lot of pain and discomfort even if the dentist tries to put just his dental mirror inside the cavity. So, in such a case the patient is given a particular type of sedative that keeps him conscious but does not feel the pain.

2. People with Medical Conditions like Epilepsy: If a patient is already suffering from some particular health problems like epilepsy, angina, or asthma, the dentist tries to give them particular sedatives that can keep them talking even while the doctor is trying to resolve their dental problem. However, they don’t feel that discomfort and pain. You can take the example of tooth extraction in such people. The doctor had to give him conscious sedation for tooth extraction to make sure that there is no issue with him and in case any problem arises, he would come to know instantly and can treat that as well.

3. People who are mentally challenged: The mentally challenged people don’t have that much knowledge to know what is going to happen to them. They are already on certain medications that help them stay calm and don’t try to be violent or do something destructive. So, when such people are brought to the dentist’s clinic, he advises conscious sedation because it lets the doctor know that the person is fine throughout the procedure and there is no complication due to the sedation. Sometimes doctors give general anesthesia to such patients and it causes them some other issues that can be harmful. To avoid such problems, it is better to stay safe and keep them conscious.

4. People who don’t respond to local anesthesia: There are some people whose bodies do not respond to local anesthesia and there can be many reasons behind it. So, in that case, if the patient has to get rid of his damaged tooth, the doctor advises conscious sedation for tooth extraction. This is the best possible option to rely on.

5. Kids below the age of 1 year: If your kid is below the age of one year & he has some trouble with his gums or he is teething and has an issue with his milk teeth, then the doctor shall advise for conscious sedation. Because the body is too little or young to be given general anesthesia & it can go harmful for him. So, you should keep the baby conscious and treat him the same way.

Now, let’s discuss the challenges that are faced by the dentist while giving conscious sedation to the patients.

Sometimes when you give your patient conscious sedation, it may let them stay calm but in a worse situation, it can lead to more risks like losing consciousness, cardiovascular depression, respiratory problems, mental instability, and airway obstruction. There is a possible chance of arrhythmias during the invasive procedure as sometimes the trigeminal nerve stimulates causing the issue. So, the doctors face a lot of challenges when they have to sedate the patient while keeping him conscious throughout the procedure. This is the reason why one should always try consulting the best dentist or oral surgeon who has vast knowledge regarding these issues and how to tackle it. They are experienced in taking complicated cases and making sure that the patient stays safe while the treatment process goes on. You can even ask your family or friends if they know an experienced or skilled dentist who can take care of your oral health and advise you accurately.


Conscious sedation is a challenge for both – the dentist and the patient in case he has other medical issues. So, it is better that you consult an expert who can give you the best advice and help you stay safe while the treatment is processed.


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