Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. You will probably stay awake, but may not be able to respond normally.
Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities soon after your procedure although you must avoid driving or important tasks/activities the first 24 hours after it as some individuals are more sensitive.
A nurse and a doctor-dentist, will give you conscious sedation in the dental practice. The medicine will wear off quickly, so it is used for short, uncomplicated procedures. An escort is always needed at least to assist, leave the practice and supervise you the first hours until you go to sleep (ideally would be the first 24 hours).
You may receive the medicine through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein), a shot into a muscle or orally. You will begin to feel drowsy and relaxed very quickly. If your doctor gives you the medicine to swallow, you will feel the effects after about 30 to 60 minutes.
Your breathing will slow and your blood pressure may drop a little. Your health care provider will monitor you during the procedure to make sure you are OK. This provider will stay with you at all times during the procedure until discharging you to your accompanying escort.
You should not need help with your breathing. But you may receive extra oxygen through a mask or IV fluids through a catheter (tube) into a vein.
You may fall asleep, but you will wake up easily to respond to people in the room. You may be able to respond to verbal cues. After conscious sedation, you may feel drowsy and not remember much about your procedure, assuring you less or none mental/psychological pain on the dental chair.
The vast majority of patients who try it, the will repeat to avoid the dental phobia, sometimes caused by past traumatic dental experiences.