5 Things to Know About IV Sedation Dentistry

If you could have your dental work done without any fear or pain, and without the need for general anesthetic, would you?

If you’re waiting for the catch, there isn’t one. This is what IV sedation dentistry is: a comfortable and worry-free path to a beautiful, healthy smile.

Whether you’ve been curious about IV sedation dentistry for a while, or you’ve just heard that it might be an option, you should take a minute to go over the facts:

1. It brings you to a “semi-awake” state.

First, let’s take a look at what IV sedation is: IV, or intravenous, sedation, is delivered through a vein, as the name suggests. Effects are felt faster than with other options and dosage can be adjusted continuously throughout the procedure.

Unlike general anesthesia, which renders you completely unconscious, IV sedation brings you to a state of semi-consciousness. You won’t be fully aware of what’s happening, but you will be able to respond to verbal commands or light touches.

Make sure to check with your dental care provider to ensure that you are a candidate for sedation; older patients and those suffering from medical conditions may run the risk of experiencing negative side-effects.

2. You might not remember the procedure.

The medication used in IV sedation has an amnesic effect. Depending on how deeply you choose to be sedated, you might remember very little of the procedure.

Some people remember nothing at all. Keep in mind that this is a common side-effect of sedation and does not mean that anything has gone wrong.

3. There are three levels of conscious IV sedation.

  1. Minimal sedation: The medication relieves your anxiety but allows you to remain fully awake.  
  2. Moderate sedation: Sometimes known as “conscious sedation” or “twilight sleep,” this level makes you feel more sleepy. You probably won’t remember much. 
  3. Deep sedation: You’ll be almost unresponsive and may fall completely asleep. Unlike general anesthesia, however, deep sedation still allows the patient to be awakened relatively easily

4. You may also receive an inhaled or ingested sedative.

With your permission, your dentist may administer one of these sedatives along with, or instead of, IV sedation:

  • Laughing Gas: This inhaled sedative provides minimal sedation and may even wear off fast enough for your dentist to clear you to drive home afterward. 
  • Oral sedation: Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill. The most common variety is Halcion, which is similar to Valium. This can provide minimal to moderate sedation depending on the dose. 

5. Local anesthetics are administered after the sedative has taken effect. 

Does the thought of a Novocain injection give you as much anxiety as the procedure itself? If you undergo sedation dentistry, you won’t get your local numbing agent until after you’re sedated. This makes IV sedation a great option for anxious patients or even those who just don’t like oral injections. Talk It Over with Us
At Lasting Smiles Dental Care, we offer IV sedation dentistry for patients who need a bit of help getting themselves (or their children) into the dental chair. Whether you need a root canal, a filling, or cosmetic work, we can help you to decide if IV sedation dentistry is right for you. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.