(Those dentists who are interested in conscious sedation should consider continuing their sedation training and satisfy their state requirements for a conscious sedation permit). A situation may arise in which the dentist and/or patient desires a lighter level of sedation than conscious sedation provides.An example may be the slightly anxious patient who states that they need the “edge taken off” in order to receive treatment.The patient obtains the medication at the pharmacy and takes it as directed by the dentist.While there are differences between conscious sedation and anxiolysis for the dental team, and in the eyes of the state board, there appears to be little difference to the patient.(3) Anxiolysis is ideal for shorter sedation appointments.Typical anxiolysis protocol consists of an oral medication given pre-operatively.
The use of sedation for dental care has become a topic of intense interest, and many states are re-writing their regulations to require a special permit to provide this service.
Although cognitive function and coordination may be impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.” In the spectrum of sedation, anxiolysis is the lightest level of sedation (Figure 1).
For the purpose of many state regulatory agencies, anxiolysis involves the use of a single anxiolytic drug (per day, not including nitrous oxide), in a single dose, prescribed before a patient’s appointment, and administered prior to the beginning of the dental appointment.
With regard to procedure protocol, there are more similarities than differences between anxiolysis and conscious sedation.
For example: patient assessment, airway management, monitoring, record keeping, documentation, and the verbal skills are identical.