Surgical Tip of the Week

#20 The Sedation Continuum

The concept of sedation as a continuum is the foundation of patient safety. Sedation is a continuum of levels of sedation from fully consciousness to unconsciousness (general anesthesia).

Dentists providing sedation must have the training, skills, drugs and equipment necessary to manage patients that are more deeply sedated than intended until EMS arrives or the patient returns to the intended level of sedation.

Minimal Sedation (Anxiolysis) is a drug-induced state during which patients respond normally to verbal commands. Although cognitive function and physical coordination may be impaired, airway reflexes, and ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.