What is sedation?
Intravenous sedation involves the administration of drugs to make dental treatment comfortable and easy for you. It can remove anxiety, stress, discomfort, memory, time and awareness from the procedure.
Are there any needles?
To start the sedation a small cannula (plastic tube) is placed into a vein in your forearm or back of the hand and the needle is quickly removed. Your dentist will administer local anaesthetic in your mouth after you are sedated.
Will I be asleep?
You will enjoy a deep relaxing sleep and usually have little or no idea of what was accomplished during the treatment.
What is the difference between general anaesthesia and sedation?
With sedation you sleep but you body is actually conscious and maintains control of its own breathing. General anaesthesia is different in that your body is rendered completely unconscious and your breathing is aided by a machine. This must be done at a hospital setting whilst sedation dentistry can be carried out in general practice.
Who will do the sedation?
Dr Patel will administer the sedation and look after you using special monitoring equipment and will be by your side throughout the dental procedure. He studied in the UK and provided a sedation service for many years before moving to Australia. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Australian Dental Association and the Dental Board of Australia recommend that only dentists with special qualifications or experience in anaesthesia/sedation should administer IV sedation. Dr Patel is one of only a few dentists in NSW that satisfies the recommendations.
Is it safe?
Sedation is very safe in adequately trained hands and you will be monitored very closely. Unlike a hospital general anaesthetic, you will not need the assistance of a breathing machine. Your protective reflexes are still intact and you are able to breathe spontaneously on your own. The medications you will be given are used for sedation procedures all over the world and are extremely safe.
Are there any side effects?
Drowsiness on the day of your appointment is to be expected. Most patients feel relaxed and refreshed after the sedation. You may feel cold or slight nausea but normally you will feel fine after eating and taking in some fluids.
What is the cost?
The fee for the sedation depends on the length of the treatment required. Your dentist or Dr Patel will discuss this with you. Please note my fee is not covered by Medicare and you will need to check for health fund rebates.
Am I suitable?
You need to be reasonably fit and healthy for sedation in general practice. Any medical conditions should be well controlled and your GP or specialist may need to be contacted. You will be consulted by Dr Patel to assess your suitability and alternative arrangements can be made if sedation is not for you.