Intravenous (IV) sedation is a safe option for dental patients who experience mild or severe forms of anxiety during procedures. It involves the administration of medications via an IV into the vein, and because it offers quick effects, many dental patients prefer this type of sedation dentistry to other options.
How IV Sedation Works
The IV sedation process is quite simple – medication is delivered through a tiny needle that is placed in your inner elbow or the top of your hand. The pharmaceuticals used aren’t narcotics, so they won’t dull your senses. In most cases, benzodiazepines are chosen, as they serve as good anti-anxiety sedatives that will make you feel more at ease.
After your appointment, you will need someone to drive you home. You should start to feel more alert once the IV medication is stopped. Recovery – minus recovery from the dental procedure itself – is relatively minimal.
Benefits of IV Sedation
There are many reasons that IV sedation might be a good option for your dental procedure, as this method offers a variety of benefits:
- Help to reduce your gag reflex
- Provide a deeper sedation that oral medication and laughing gas
- Extremely safe, as your dentist will measure the exact drug dosage
- Eliminate most of your memory about the dental procedure
What if I’m Afraid of Needles?
Many patients who need IV sedation have a common concern – the needle. If you have a fear of needles, IV sedation may still be an option for you. Laughing gas or oral sedation can help you to feel more relaxed and a topical anesthetic will reduce the discomfort before the needle is put into place. Even without these strategies, most people describe the sensation as only a small prick or pinch.
If you’re interested in learning more about IV sedation and other sedation dentistry options, call us today.