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Dental Sedation

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.


It is able to be used reliably for procedures up to two hours duration. On some patients, sedation times of up to three hours may be achieved, depending on patient safety (relating to doses required), cooperation and comfort.


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, 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 (e.g. 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 possible 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 is 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.


Dr Turnbull has all of the required general and emergency equipment to provide dental sedation within our surgery.

References are available on request.


COST Per case: up to 1 hour = $450, then $100 per additional ½ hour or part thereof of procedure time.



014 Consultation

928 Intravenous cannulation and establishment of infusion

942 Sedation – intravenous – per 30 minutes or part thereof

949 Treatment under general anesthesia / sedation


Medicare and many health funds do not cover these item numbers. Patients should contact their health fund directly to determine the amount of rebate for these item numbers.



On the day of your sedation appointment, you will:


SUPERVISION: Need someone who can drop you off, wait for you while you have the procedure, take you home in private transport (Taxi is ok, NOT train or bus) and look after you for the rest of the day.


FASTING: Take NO food or drinks for 6 hours, and no water for 4 hours before your appointment. Not wear contact lenses or makeup. Dress in warm, loose fitting clothing, with layers and arms accessible. Avoid smoking and alcohol for 24 hours before your sedation. Reduce intake of both as much as possible in the lead up to your appointment.  


Advise your dentist if there is any change to your medical history.If required, take your usual medications at least two (2) hours before your appointment with only a sip of water.


After your sedation appointment, you will:


Recover in the dental surgery for, on average, an hour depending when you are ready to be released into the care of responsible adult. This responsible adult will:Assist you to your car, drive or take you home in private transport (taxi is ok, NOT train or bus), and help you inside. Stay with you to supervise and assist you for the rest of the day (including dispensing antibiotics and painkillers).


When home. Rest in bed or on a lounge with your head up. Take regular, small amounts of fluids, and eat if you feel able, once any numbness has worn off, You may feel drowsy, be forgetful, or have impaired reflexes and balances after your sedation.


Therefore, for 24 hours you will not be able to:

Drive a car, Operate machinery, Do active pursuits such as exercise or riding a bike, Undertake business, work or make big decisions, Care for children, cook, clean, climb ladders etc.


Please ensure you attend your review appointment if made.  If you have any questions about your teeth or dental procedure, please contact the dental practice.


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