Sedation in dentistry has been a controversial topic due to questions being raised over its safety, especially in dental chair. Dental fear and anxiety are not only common in children but also significantly prevalent among adults due to high intensity of pain. Sharing of airway between the anesthesiologist and the dentist remains the greatest challenge. The purpose of this review is to study the recent trends in conscious sedation in the field of dentistry from an anesthesiologist's perspective. It will provide a practical outline of the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and routes of administration of the drugs or gases used.
Conscious sedation is a technique in which the use of a drug or drugs produces a state of depression of the central nervous system (CNS) enabling treatment to be carried out, but during which verbal contact with the patient is maintained throughout the period of sedation. The drugs and techniques used to provide conscious sedation for dental treatment should carry a margin of safety wide enough to render loss of consciousness unlikely. Conscious sedation retains the patient's ability to maintain a patent airway independently and continuously.
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