IV Sedation for Dental Procedures
Let’s face it-nobody likes having their teeth operated on. But for patients who are particularly nervous about the process, have very sensitive teeth, or are undergoing potentially painful procedures like wisdom teeth removal, a visit to the dentist can be particularly nerve-wracking. In these situations, the best course of action is usually to receive some type of sedation. Of course, we recognize that many patients are uncomfortable with heavy sedatives that leave you unconscious. In these cases, IV sedation can be the perfect choice.
How Does It Work?
IV sedation is simple and almost painless. Most dental practitioners will first use a mild local anesthetic to numb the area, then all you’ll feel is a tiny “prick” as the IV slides in. IV sedation is a moderate anesthetic that induces feelings of deep relaxation, but unlike general anesthesia, you remain fully conscious during IV sedation, and able to respond to basic questions from your dental practitioner if necessary, making the procedure easy for both dentist and patient. For procedures that may induce discomfort or pain, painkilling drugs such as opioids may also be used alongside the anti-anxiety sedative.
What Does It Feel Like?
As a moderate sedative, IV sedation induces a deep feeling of relaxation, and in some cases, you may feel slightly sleepy or light-headed. Many patients report feeling as if nothing bothers them, making it ideal for patients feeling anxiety about the process going in. In addition, because of the partial memory loss that may occur during the first few minutes of sedation, many patients don’t remember much of the process, or report that they felt as if the whole procedure took only minutes. This is one major benefit of IV sedation: not only are patients relaxed during the procedure, but it generally feels as if time passes very quickly.
How Safe is the Process?
We strongly value patient comfort and safety at our practice, and IV sedation is one of the safest forms of sedation. Since you aren’t unconscious during IV sedation, breathing and heart rate don’t need to be monitored, and there is a very minimal risk of complications. Based on statistics, Iv sedation is actually even safer than local anesthetic. However, there are still a few things to keep in mind that can result in complications. If you are pregnant, suffer from CNS depression or are allergic to benzodiazepines (the type of drug usually used for IV sedation,) other types of sedation may be a better choice. In addition, stay away from alcohol before or immediately after the process, as alcohol intoxication can also result in complications. It is also sometimes best to refrain from eating or drinking up to 8 hours beforehand.
For your safety, have a friend or family member monitor you after the process until you are fully aware again. Make sure that you have somebody else to drive you home, as the sedation can impair awareness as well as mechanical driving skills. Finally, while IV sedation is extremely safe, your dentist must be certified to administer it. At our practice that isn’t a concern, as Dr. David is fully certified in IV sedation.
IV Sedation Aurora
If you’re nervous about receiving a dental procedure, you can rely on our practice to make the process easy and comfortable. Our dentists are highly trained and caring, and can provide IV sedation for any anxious patients. Call us today to schedule your appointment, and take the fear out of dental procedures!