Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. A lot of people are so anxious about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment done at all.
IV sedation dentistry may be the solution to your fear of the dentist.
For people who avoid dentists like the plague, IV sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear.
What is IV Sedation?
Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation. As with most sedatives, IV sedation reduces anxiety and allows the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Although it does not induce sleep, patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report that they do not remember the appointment the next day.
It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. It is very effective because the dentist can immediately customize (titrate) the dose of the sedative to maximize comfort and safety, specifically for the patient.
In addition to the IV sedation medication, you’ll also typically need a local anesthetic—numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth—to prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
IV Sedation Prep
You will have to make some adjustments to your habits and activities before getting IV sedation during a dental visit.
It is essential the patient not eat or drink anything at least eight hours before your visit or procedure. Your dentist can provide you with more specific details on eating and drinking, including when to stop, based on the time of your visit.
Although IV sedation won’t put you completely under, you are likely to feel pretty groggy for some time after your visit. Have a friend or family member bring you to the dentist and, more importantly, drive you home afterward. It’s a good idea to avoid scheduling anything for the rest of the day so you can rest.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions about any medications you might take. You may have to stop taking some medicines before your visit.
IV Sedation Dentistry: What to Expect
This method of conscious sedation simply instills a feeling of deep relaxation and creates a dream-like state and a care-free disposition. With this level, patients typically go through the entire procedure without remembering it. It’s the peace of mind that patients have knowing their experience will be completely relaxed and feel like they are asleep while receiving the highest dental care.
In this state of complete relaxation, you’ll be responsive to basic commands and gentle touch. You’ll also be able to breathe on your own, but your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels will be closely monitored throughout the entire procedure. If your dentist is performing a procedure that requires a local anesthetic, such as the filling of a cavity or the removal of wisdom teeth, the anesthetic will be given to you after the sedation has taken effect.
IV Sedation Dentistry for Wisdom Teeth
IV sedation dentistry is an excellent option for oral surgery sedation. For example, if you’ve been delaying the necessary removal of your wisdom teeth, IV sedation can alleviate your apprehension about the procedure.
You can trust your dentist and his or her highly-trained anesthesia team to provide you with a safe and comfortable dental experience and are highly skilled in airway management, establishing intravenous lines and managing any complications that may arise. Whether it’s for wisdom teeth or a rotten tooth, tooth extraction under sedation is a great option.
Is IV Sedation Dentistry Right for You?
You may be a want to consider IV sedation dentistry if you have:
- Missed dental appointments due to fear or anxiety
- Been advised to have a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removed
- Had traumatic dental experiences
- Difficulty getting numb
- Experienced pain and discomfort from TMJ disorder
- A bad gag reflex
- Very sensitive teeth
- Complex dental problems requiring extensive treatment
- Limited time for dental care
If you are generally in good physical health but feel nervous about going to the dentist or feel anxious when you are at the dentist, IV sedation might help you get your teeth back in great shape so you can maintain or improve your oral health.
To avoid needing a major dental procedure, regular visits to the dentist are important. If you’re feeling anxious, come visit Enamel Dental and speak with our caring and professional dentists about IV sedation dentistry.