At Tryon Family Dentistry, we understand that our patients may be fearful of going to the dentist because they fear any pain or discomfort associated with dental treatment.
What is IV Sedation?
Intravenous (IV) sedation refers to the administering of an anti-anxiety drug through the blood during your dental treatment. “Intravenous” means that the drug is put into a vein. This is done using a cannula called Venflon. The Venflon has a needle which is wrapped up with a tiny soft plastic tube. Once it has been inserted into the chosen site, the needle is then slid out, leaving the thin flexible tube in place. IV sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as ‘twilight’ or ‘sleep’ dentistry. However, rather than putting you to sleep, the sedative helps you to relax and feel at peace. Compared to oral sedation dentistry, IV sedation is safer and more effective with less risk of side effects. At any time, an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary.
How will I feel during IV Sedation?
During IV sedation, you will feel deeply relaxed and your anxiety will be greatly reduced. You will be less aware of what is happening, and you may feel sleepy. You will however be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist, and you can let them know how you feel. Afterwards, you may not remember much (or anything) about the procedure.
What are the advantages of IV sedation?
- IV sedation tends to be the method of choice if you don’t want to be aware of the procedure.
- It can make it easier to get quite a lot of dental work done in a quick and efficient manner.
- The onset of action is very rapid, and drug dosage and level of sedation can be tailored to meet the individual’s needs. This is a huge advantage compared to oral sedation, where the effects can be very unreliable. IV sedation, on the other hand, is both vastly effective and highly reliable.
- The maximum level of sedation which can be reached with IV is deeper than with oral or inhalation sedation.
- The gag reflex is hugely diminished – people receiving IV sedation rarely experience difficulties with gagging.
- Unlike general anesthesia, conscious IV sedation doesn’t really introduce any compromises per se in terms of carrying out the actual procedures, because you’re conscious and you can cooperate with instructions, and there is no airway tube involved.
- Faster recovery with fewer side effects compared to oral sedation
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?
Our team will perform a complete evaluation and review of your medical history prior to recommending IV sedation dentistry. The treatment is safe and effective for most healthy adults (and even some children). Contraindications include:
- Allergies to specific medications (such as benzodiazepines, barbiturate, etc.)
- Alcohol intoxication
- Heart conditions
- Central Nervous System (CNS) depression