Dental Intravenous Sedation – Information and Consent

Dental intravenous sedation (conscious, twilight or moderate sedation) is a technique involving placing a drip and giving medications intravenously to assist in dental procedures. It may be used with happy gas or numbing patches, and is a very safe and useful technique for patients who are:

  • Phobic, anxious, nervous or having difficulty coping with dental treatment, or
  • Strong gaggers, or
  • Undergoing long or uncomfortable procedures, including extractions or implant surgery.

During intravenous sedation you are in a dreamlike state, where, while aware of what is going on around you, you are very relaxed and comfortable, and not concerned about anything.

You will continue to breathe for yourself and be able to move and let us know if you are uncomfortable or in any pain. Your level of consciousness, breathing, pulse, blood pressure and heart rhythm are closely monitored and recorded during the procedure.

Due to the sedative/hypnotic (sleep inducing) and amnesic (memory blocking) effects of the medication, you may not remember the procedure and feel as if you drifted off to sleep. Some patients may remember small moments during the procedure, especially if they have used a lot of sleeping tablets, alcohol or other relaxants (eg valium) in the past, but will still be very relaxed and comfortable and will feel as if the procedure went very quickly.

As a side effect of the sedation, for the remainder of the day (and possibly the next day) you are likely to notice some:

  • drowsiness
  • forgetfulness or confusion
  • loss of balance, dizziness, upset tummy and slowed reflexes

There are a number of complications that can arise from sedation. Your sedation team are well equipped and trained to deal with any of these possibilities. These include:

  • Temporary nausea, vomiting, blurred or double vision during recovery
  • Pain, redness, swelling or bruising at or near the site of drip
  • Airway or breathing difficulty requiring clearance of the airway, assisted breathing or drug reversal
  • Allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis) to one or more of the medications used
  • An unusual excitatory response to the sedation causing an uncooperative patient (so we may not be able to finish the procedure)

dental Intravenous sedation