Intravenous dental sedation allows anxious patients to undergo treatment they would otherwise not have done. Other indications include long procedures strong gag reflexes and sensitive teeth and sore muscles. Patients are sleepy but awake enough to cooperate with the dentist during most of the procedure, even though most people have very limited if any recall of events. The level of sedation is varied according to circumstances and the patient has his heart rhythm blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitored whilst usually receiving extra oxygen.

Patients are interviewed and examined by an Anaesthetist to make sure they are well enough to be sedated in the clinic. Conditions including sleep apnea, cardiorespiratory compromise and general unwellness together with an inability to cooperate with the Anaesthetist normally preclude the procedure.

The patient is asked to refrain from eating food for six hours before the procedure and clear fluid from four hours before. A responsible adult should accompany the patient home and driving is not allowed for 24 hours. A consent form is signed before treatment is commenced.