The most common method of sedation is by sedative drugs given into a vein. The full name is ‘conscious sedation’. This means that verbal contact is possible at all times. The drugs I use have a wide margin of safety. The main drug is midazolam. This is from the same family of drugs as valium. It is very safe, a bit stronger than valium, but mostly wears off in an hour. There is still some of the drug in the system for the rest of the day. This is why you must be accompanied by a responsible adult to take you home. You should not do anything important of the rest of the day. This means no business work, paperwork, online shopping etc. You can get it wrong.
Along with midazolam, I balance this with a strong, short acting, painkiller called fentanyl. This is widely used in anaesthetics and, again, has a wide margin of safety. The dentist still has to numb the teeth in the usual way, but under sedation this is hardly noticed.
Everyone is different with sedation, so I am with you throughout the procedure. This is to monitor your depth of sedation by observation and experience. Blood pressure and pulse oximetry monitoring is routine.
You are able to go home very soon after the end of the appointment. Usually people have a snooze on the settee at home. The main side effect is amnesia. After a sleep, or the next day there will be very little recollection of the procedure.