Sedation Terms Q&A: Know Your Stuff

qabuttonredWhen you make your foray into the world of dental sedation, you might find yourself immediately inundated with some new terminology. While relying on context clues will help you out a bit, there are those terms and phrases that may still leave you scratching your head. To quickly clear up any confusion, so you can focus on the important stuff, we are presenting you with a helpful Q&A session. Memorize some key vocab and you’ll be on your way toward expert status in no time!

Questions and Answers: Sedation

Question: What does it mean when you say “conscious sedation?” Does this have something to do with the effects of the sedative you offer?

Answer: It does. It simply refers to the fact that when you receive dental sedation, you will remain conscious (or awake).

Question: What does “twilight sleep” mean? I’ve heard that a patient doesn’t actually become unconscious when this is achieved but the word “sleep” is throwing me off.

Answer: This can certainly become confusing. Remember, you will not fall asleep when you receive dental sedation. This term refers to the fact that you will feel extremely relaxed and may even think, after the drug wears off, that you were unconscious (because certain sedatives results in an amnesic effect while in your system). However, you will not fall asleep.

Question: What does “CNS” stand for and what does it have to do with dental sedation?

Answer: CNS is short for your central nervous system. This includes the function of your brain and spinal cord that controls things like anxiety, nervousness, and stress, and other activities of your body. In the case of oral sedation, the sedative acts to calm and slow your CNS, so you feel relaxed.


Dr. Colin Lathrop and the Lathrop Dental Center proudly welcome patients and families from in and around Katy, TX, including Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can reach our sedation dentistry office in Katy, TX, by calling 832-437-3849.

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