John a Carroll DDS, Oral & Maxillofacial John A. Carroll DDS Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

John A. Carroll, DDS
Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

26 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 740
Littleton, CO 80120
303 224 0500 PH
303 224 0606 FX


Sedation & Anesthesia

Sedation is an induced and controlled state of relaxation. Sedation can be classified as mild, moderate or deep. Sedatives can be administered orally, rectally or by injection.

While mild sedation elicits a conscious state of relaxation, moderate and deep sedations can make you feel sleepy. Moderate and deep sedation can often result in amnesia, an inability to remember the events that occurred during the sedated state. Relaxation, somnolence and amnesia are particularly beneficial to apprehensive patients undergoing surgical procedures that are complex or lengthy.

Intravenous (I.V.) sedation is administered as a mixture of various drugs. Most formulas include a narcotic, (e.g. fentanyl, Demerol®, morphine, etc.), combined with a benzodiazepine, (e.g. Versed® or Valium®). Sometimes other drugs are added to the mixture to improve the desired sedative effect.

Deep surgical planes of anesthesia can suppress or stop your breathing. Ventilation might be necessary. Your protective reflexes are also suppressed or lost.

Nitrous oxide, i.e. laughing gas, is commonly administered during intravenous sedations and anesthesia because it can augment the effectiveness of injected drugs, thereby reducing the total drug dosage required to achieve a safe and comfortable state of sedation or anesthesia. The additive sedation effects of nitrous oxide can be reversed almost immediately by turning off the gas flow and allowing a patient to breathe 100% oxygen.

We monitor all sedated and anesthetized patients’ respirations, blood oxygen saturation (oximetry), heart rate, (pulse), and blood pressure. EKG monitoring also allows us to observe a sedated or anesthetized patient’s heart rhythms.

The physiological effects of injected narcotics and benzodiazepines are reversible. “Antidotes” to both classes of drugs are available should a need for rapid awakening arise. More information about sedation and anesthesia is available at

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