Patients and their dentists occasionally require sedation to be provided for dental treatment. Sedation will be provided by a trained Specialist Anaesthetist and this attracts professional fees over and above the usual dental fees.
The level of sedation required is not general anaesthesia as some level of consciousness is maintained. You will remember very little of the procedure. After all the monitoring is attached, the drugs will be injected through a small cannula/needle that is inserted into your arm or hand.
Prior to your appointment, you will be asked some questions to assess your risk for receiving sedation. The risk of complications is very low but exists.
Sedation For Children
Intravenous sedation can be offered to children over the age of 4 years old who are otherwise healthy with no on-going medical problems. Children under the age of 4 or with complicated medical issues are best treated in a hospital setting.
If there is a great deal of anxiety surrounding the procedure or placement of the needle in the back of the hand/elbow, there are options available:
- an oral sedative to be taken prior to the appointment
- a numbing cream applied to the skin before the appointment
Very rarely this sedative medication can have the opposite effect in children and they can become more alert and animated than usual. It is useful to have a calm parent or caregiver around to comfort the child.
Children can recover from sedation in different ways – some come round straight away and some maybe sleepy for quite some time afterwards. They will need supervision for the rest of the day and be back to their normal selves the following day.