Frequently Asked Questions

What is intravenous (IV) conscious sedation?

Intravenous conscious sedation, also called sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry, or twilight sedation, is a form of sedation where sedatives and pain-relieving drugs are administered intravenously to make you relaxed and feel sleepy. Your memory and ability to keep of track of time will also become blurred.

Who normally considers conscious sedation?

People who consider conscious sedation include:

  • Patients who are anxious or fearful about dentistry
  • Patients with a strong gag reflex
  • Patients who have had bad past dental experiences
  • Patients who have had difficulty achieving anaesthesia
  • Patients requiring surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions, dental implants
  • Patients requiring long dental procedures such as root canal treatment and crowns
  • Patients requiring multiple dental visits

What are the benefits?

Patients who are otherwise anxious or fearful about dentistry can have their dental treatment completed in a comfortable and relaxed manner. Because such patients are coming in earlier to seek treatment, their problems will be more easily resolved than if they postponed their treatment.

Complex dental treatments that require multiple visits can be completed in fewer appointments. In addition, long dental procedures will feel like they are finished very quickly.

What are the risks?

IV conscious sedation is a modern and safe method for keeping patients sedated. You may experience some bruising, tenderness, or swelling, near the site of the cannulation. You may also experience dizziness or nausea. You need to inform your dentist about any medical conditions, any medications or allergies to ensure you have a safe sedation.

What are my alternatives?

Most dental procedures are performed under local anesthetic alone; that is, you will be numb and will not feel pain but you will be completely awake and alert. Nitrous (happy gas) sedation is also available and it will make you feel relaxed and light headed; however, it is a lighter form of sedation compared with IV conscious sedation. General anaesthesia can only be done in a hospital setting.

Am I suitable for sedation?

Most people are suitable for sedation. You need to inform your dentist about any medical conditions, any medications or allergies. You need to tell your dentist if you are pregnant (confirmed or suspected) or if you are intending to be become pregnant.

How do I prepare for a sedation appointment?

You need to discuss with your regular dentist the dental treatment you want under IV sedation e.g. wisdom teeth extractions.

Your dentist will organise an appointment with us. You can find out more on Patient Preparation.