Sedation FAQ's

Q: Will I feel any pain or discomfort?
: You will have minimal if any discomfort.

Q: Will I be unconscious?
: You will be sedated to a point where you are very relaxed and able to fall asleep.

Q: Will I be monitored?
: Yes, with the same equipment used in a hospital for monitoring vital signs and one of our team members is always with you during your appointment.

Q: How long will I be sedated?
: Depending on your needs, from 1-3 hours.

Q: Will someone need to accompany me?
: Yes, you will need someone to accompany you to and from the appointment.

Not all Sedation is the Same

Sedation class as defined by the American Dental Association:

Minimal Sedation – a minimally depressed level of consciousness, produced by a pharmacological method that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond normally to tactile stimulation, and verbal command. Although cognitive function and coordination may be modestly impaired, breathing and cardiovascular functions are unaffected. Nitrous oxide/oxygen alone, or in combination with a single oral drug is often used to achieve minimal sedation. It should be noted however that it is possible to produce minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia by simply using nitrous oxide/oxygen and a single oral agent.

Moderate Sedation – a drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, whether alone, or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain and open airway, and spontaneous breathing is adequate. This is the level of sedation most frequently used at Sedation Dentistry NW. When the drugs are appropriately administered through an IV, the desired level of sedation is quickly obtained without the danger of overdose. Only the needed amount of the drug is used. That is why with sedations using oral agents, it is much more difficult to achieve specific desired sedation levels. The response to the drugs depends on many factors which vary from person to person. An oral dose in one person may produce little if any affect – while the exact same dose in another person could result in a profoundly deep sedative outcome.

Deep Sedation – a drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated, or painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain breathing function may be impaired. Patients may require assistance in maintaining an open airway, and spontaneous breathing may be inadequate. It is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between deep sedation and general anesthesia.

General Anesthesia – a drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain breathing function is impaired. Patients almost always require assistance in maintaining an open airway, and positive pressure breathing may be required because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug induced depression of neuromuscular function. Cardiovascular function may be impaired. General anesthesia can be provided at Sedation Dentistry NW by calling in a trained, licensed anesthesia provider. However, it is generally not necessary due to current sedation techniques.