The purpose of this page is to explain the conscious sedation procedure and answer some commonly asked questions. If you have any further questions, please contact the Oral and Maxillofacial Department using the contact information provided at the end of this page.

What is conscious sedation?

This is a technique in which the use of a drug given through a vein produces a state of relaxation and anxiety-relief, enabling treatment to be carried out. You will not be fully asleep and you will be able to understand and respond to verbal commands. You will have been given separate information about the surgery you are to have.

Before your sedation appointment

  • You must arrange for a responsible adult to come with you to your appointment and accompany you home afterwards. You and your escort must arrange personal transport home (car or taxi). Public transport is not acceptable.
  • You must arrange for the same or another responsible adult to stay with you for the 24 hours after your treatment.
  • You must arrange for the same or another responsible adult to stay with you for the 24 hours after your treatment. You must NOT be left alone. You may need an extra person to look after young children. Please call us if you need any more information.
  • Do not have anything to eat (including milk) for 6 hours before your appointment time.
  • We would encourage you to drink water only up to 2 hours before your appointment time.
  • Please clean your teeth and gums thoroughly with a toothbrush and toothpaste before attending for treatment as a clean mouth heals quicker with less chance of infection afterwards.
  • You should take all medications as normal on the day of your appointment unless we have advised you otherwise. Please bring an up to date list of any medicines that you are currently taking to the appointment.
  • Please do not drink alcohol or smoke on the day of treatment.

During your sedation appointment

  • Your escort must stay in the hospital while you have your treatment. You will usually be ready to go home about 90 minutes after your appointment time/start of treatment.
  • Please wear a loose-fitting top so that both sleeves may be easily rolled up. This will allow us to take your blood pressure and insert the cannula (thin tube) into a vein in your arm or hand through which the sedative medicine is given.
  • A local anaesthetic (numbing) injection will be given at the site of the treatment before your treatment is carried out.
  • You will stay in our clinic until the staff are happy for you to be discharged.

After your sedation appointment

You should return home immediately after your treatment and for the next 24 hours:

  • You must NOT be left alone.
  • You must NOT drive a car or any other vehicle, including bicycles.
  • You must NOT use any machinery including kitchen equipment.
  • You must NOT lock the bathroom or toilet door or make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you.
  • You must NOT make any important decisions or sign important documents.

When can I return to work?

You should plan on a minimum of 1 day off work after the day of your surgery. You may need a day or two extra depending on the type of job. This should have been discussed with you during your consultation.

Who to contact if you have concerns after the surgery

Most people have very few problems and following the advice on this page is usually all that is needed. Therefore, we do not always review patients following surgery.


However, if you have a problem, please contact the Oral and Maxillofacial Outpatient Department via the hospital switchboard between 8:00am and 8:00pm.

Gloucestershire Hospitals Switchboard

Tel: 0300 422 2222

When prompted, ask for the Operator, then ask to be put through to the ‘On call Senior House Officer’ for the Oral and Maxilofacial Department.

Alternatively, you can contact your registered dentist for advice.


In an emergency, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Other useful contact information

New and follow-up clinic booking enquiries

Tel: 0300 422 6940

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm

Minor surgery (local anaesthetic with/without sedation) booking enquiries

Tel: 0300 422 3197

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm

Inpatient and Day Surgery Unit booking enquiries

Tel: 0300 422 8191

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm


For further information, please visit the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery webpage:


We would welcome your feedback regarding your treatment. Please visit

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the ‘Contact us’ link. On the next page, select ‘Give feedback or make a complaint’ then select the link below the heading ‘Give feedback about an NHS service.

Feedback can also be left on the Gloucestershire Hospitals twitter account: @gloshospitals

Printable version of this page

Conscious sedation for outpatient oral and maxillofacial surgery GHPI0387_09_23 Department: Oral and Maxillofacial Review due: September 2026 PDF, 316.0 KB, 4 pages
Reference number GHPI0387_09_23
Department Oral and Maxillofacial
Review due September 2026