Intravenous or IV sedation is used by doctors who have undergone special training as a way to keep patients comfortable and relaxed throughout their dental appointment. IV sedation differs from general anesthesia, which is also delivered intravenously, in that it is a form of conscious sedation. That is, patients never fall completely asleep; they are simply so relaxed and comfortable, they often do not notice the passage of time.
What Is IV Sedation?
In IV sedation, an intravenous line is inserted into your arm or hand in order to deliver sedative medication. In conscious IV sedation, even the most anxious patient can feel relaxed and comfortable during an appointment. This allows our oral surgeons to perform multiple procedures in one visit. It may seem as though you have fallen asleep because this sedation technique relaxes you to the point that you do not notice time passing. These medications also have a tendency to induce a state of slight amnesia. Chances are, you will leave your appointment with no memory of the procedures you have undergone, which can make it seem as though you were asleep.
Is IV Sedation for You?
There are a number of reasons why you may choose to undergo conscious intravenous sedation when visiting the dentist. For instance, you may want to consider IV sedation dentistry if you:
- Are too scared of dental treatment to even schedule a visit
- Are very uncomfortable in the dentist’s office
- Are afraid of the sounds and smells you encounter in the dentist’s office
- Have very sensitive teeth and gums
- Have a very strong gag reflex that makes dental appointments unpleasant
- Experience pain or have trouble keeping your mouth open
- Experience pain in your neck or back when in the dentist’s chair
- Need to have several procedures done but prefer a single appointment
- Know that you are having dental problems (difficulty chewing, tooth pain, etc.) but haven’t made the appointment due to fear or anxiety
- Need to have your wisdom teeth removed
- Have used milder forms of sedation with no effect
Any of the above circumstances are a viable reason for requesting IV sedation when you schedule your dental appointment.
What to Expect from IV Sedation
You will need to ask your doctor about the specific effects your sedative medication may have. You will need to have someone come with you to your appointment in order to drive you home. To begin, your dentist will check your physiological condition by monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate. Once the medication has been administered, your doctor will ensure that you are completely comfortable and deeply relaxed before beginning any procedures. Once the procedures are finished, the sedative will be allowed to wear off a bit before your travel companion is allowed to drive you home. You will then need to rest for the remainder of the day.
If you have further questions about IV sedation in Redondo Beach, California, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Trent Westernoff or Dr. Martin Mardirosian, call Oral Surgery Partners today at 310-375-0514. We are dedicated to making your experience at our office as comfortable as possible, so we will be happy to discuss IV sedation and other options with you.