What Is IV Sedation?
The drugs typically used for IV sedation are called benzodiazepines. These medications are well known for their relaxing & sleep-inducing effects. The sedation from benzodiazepines can be quite impairing, so you will need a friend or family member to drive you to & from your appointment. You will likely feel sluggish & tired afterward & you should refrain from engaging in strenuous physical activity, driving or operating heavy machinery for the rest of the day. Children recovering from IV sedation should be watched for the rest of the day & should not participate in after-school sports or similar programs.
Using the latest procedures & technology, our specialists can ease the worries of even the most reluctant patients.
Our practice is outfitted to administer intravenous (IV) sedation to anxious patients. This is the most powerful form of conscious sedation available to dentists. Unlike oral (pill) sedation, IV sedation begins working almost instantly. Additionally, your recovery time after your appointment will likely be shorter than if you had taken an oral sedative.
IV sedation is often called “conscious sedation,” because it is not meant to knock you out. Instead, it will just relax you while the dentist works on your teeth. You will still be awake & able to respond to the dentist if they ask you any questions. Patients typically report feeling peaceful, carefree sleepiness. It’s likely you won’t be able to remember much of your appointment, & many patients don’t remember their appointment at all!
If you choose to undergo IV sedation for your appointment, the dentist will insert a needle into one of the veins on your arm or hand. A tube is connected to the needle so the medication can quickly enter your bloodstream. The dentist can then gradually adjust the dosage as needed. This precise dosing makes IV sedation far less likely to produce unwanted side effects than taking a pill.
Our staff will monitor your oxygen levels & pulse throughout your procedure. Rest assured that you will be in good hands—IV sedation requires special licensing, training & advanced equipment to ensure your complete safety. Should any problems arise, we can quickly give you another medication to reverse the sedation.
Before you receive IV sedation, there are a few precautionary steps you need to take. You will need to let us know about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Benzodiazepines can have dangerous side effects when combined with other sedatives. This includes alcohol, so you must not drink on the day of your appointment. To prevent nausea during your treatment, please avoid eating for at least six hours beforehand.
Women who are nursing or pregnant are not eligible for IV sedation. If you have a history of heart, respiratory or liver problems, you should talk to the dentist or your primary care doctor about the risks of IV sedation.