Sometimes referred to as ‘sleep dentistry’ or ‘twilight dentistry’, IV Sedation is:
- Safe: You will be in excellent hands. During the entire procedure, IV sedation will be administered by a fully qualified medical IV sedationist or anesthetist.
- Comfortable: By providing relief from anxiety and discomfort during long or complex procedures, your appointment will be a more positive experience. Post procedure, you will have no memory of the actual procedure occurring, including noises and smells.
- Efficient: Under sedation, you can often have several or all necessary dental treatment completed in one appointment meaning you can get on with life sooner and avoid needing multiple visits.
IV Sedation involves placing a small cannula and injecting sedative medication into a vein in your arm. The injection is painless and the sedation takes effect immediately. You become very relaxed and drowsy and the dental treatment can be carried out quite comfortably. The level of sedation can be controlled by the sedationist/anesthetist depending on the procedure. During the dental procedure, your blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen levels are constantly monitored. Moderate or deep sedation may slow your breathing, and in some cases, you may be given oxygen. But even with deep sedation, you won’t be unconscious, as you would be with general anesthesia. If you are sedated you are not asleep, although some patients in moderate to deep sedation may nod off during the procedure, it is possible to wake you with a gentle shake.
Most patients wake up quickly once the procedure is over and the medications are stopped. Possible side effects include headache, nausea and drowsiness, but you will likely experience fewer effects than you would from general anesthesia — and you’ll probably recover faster and go home sooner. You will need an escort to take you home as you should not drive for 24 hours after the procedure.
Although IV sedation is an effective treatment for anxious patients, it is not recommended for pregnant women, patients with glaucoma, patients with lung or kidney problems, patients with any existing allergies to sedative agents or the elderly.