Oral Sedation

What is the treatment?

Oral sedation means that a sedative drug is swallowed either as a tablet or a liquid.

It takes about 10 minutes for the effects of the drug to work. Once you are sedated, dental treatment can then commence. Sedative drugs are used to make you feel less anxious and more relaxed. You will be awake and will still be able to communicate verbally with us.

South Down Dental Clinic

We operate on a dentist referral basis only.

Please speak to your dentist about getting referred to this clinic.

Prior to surgery:

  • Please make arrangements for someone to come with you to the appointment, stay in the waiting area and take you home. 
  • If you have a cough, cold or other illness, please contact the clinic before the appointment, as it may be necessary to postpone treatment.  
  • If you think you may be pregnant, you need to let the clinician know.  
  • If you are breastfeeding, you need to let the clinician know. 

On the day of surgery:

  • You may have a light meal before the appointment for treatment.  
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing. 
  • Take regular medication as normal and bring in any drugs or inhalers you have been prescribed.
  • Leave all valuables and jewellery at home apart from your wedding ring.
  • Do not wear any make-up, nail polish or nail extensions. 
  • You can wear a simple face cream.
  • Use the bathroom before the start of treatment.

This is not a general anaesthetic and it does not make you unconscious. Following your treatment, you will be required to stay at the practice until we are satisfied that you are well enough to be accompanied home.

You can eat and drink as soon as you get home; however it is best to wait until the effects of any local anaesthetic have worn off (usually 2-3 hours).

What should I avoid doing afterwards?

Your judgement will be affected by the sedative drug. This is similar to the effects of consuming alcohol. You should not:  

  • Drive a motor vehicle or ride a bike for 24 hours after treatment
  • Operate machinery or electrical items of any kind
  • Drink alcohol
  • Take sedative drugs  
  • Return to work immediately

The risks are minimal:

  • Reduction of oxygen in the bloodstream – this is due to reduced breathing during sedation. You may be asked by your clinician to take a deep breath to correct this. Your breathing level will be monitored throughout the procedure.  


Very rare risks:

  • Allergic reaction to the sedative drugs that you have been given.
  • Vomiting 

It is very important that you let the clinician know your medical history, including any medication you are taking and if you had any problems with having either general anaesthetic or sedation.

If you have any concerns about your treatment, please call the South Down Dental Clinic 028/(048 ROI) 3025 1715.