Sedation has many levels. A person taking the drug Prozac is considered to be, mildly, sedated. This same person however, can still fully function, going to work, driving a car, etc. Certainly, this level of sedation would not be considered acceptable for a dental phobic.
What most dentists are offering is something called “conscious” sedation. From the Utah Dental Association guidelines …
Conscious sedation means a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command …So conscious sedation, by law, is a minimal level of sedation where the patient must retain the ability to have a conversation with the dentist. In conscious sedation, you are NOT “un” conscious.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation however, is much different. Within less than 5 minutes of the drugs being administered, the patient is completely unconscious, asleep, out, in dreamland, etc.
It is not until the procedure is over, and the reversal drugs have been administered, that the patient is begins to wake up and can remember nothing of what has transpired.
For some people a mild form of sedation, to take the edge off, is great. But for those patients looking to be completely asleep for their dental appointment, I.V. sedation is the way to go.
Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403