The Facts about IV Sedation
The Facts about IV Sedation

The Facts about IV Sedation

Sometimes it is necessary to sedate patients during dental procedures to allow them to be more comfortable and to decrease their anxiety. The two methods that dentists typically use are general anesthesia and IV sedation. Let’s learn the differences between these two types of sedation, and more specifics about most dentists’ preferred method of IV sedation.

IV stands for intravenous, and means the medicine is administered through an injection into the veins. It causes you to become very sleepy and unable to feel pain, but you are aware of what’s happening around you and are even able to follow instructions. On the other hand, general anesthesia requires inhaling sedation gas through a mask. This causes total unconsciousness, so that you are unaware of anything going on around you and experience no pain.

Many dentists prefer IV sedation because you can follow commands if needed, and the medication levels can be adjusted easily depending on your oxygen levels, blood pressure, and pulse. IV sedation does impair you enough that you should arrange help with transportation home after the procedure because you will be groggy, and you may experience some nausea. Other than those possible side effects, there are really no other issues to worry about with this type of sedation. IV sedation is considered to be a safe, fast, and painless type of anesthesia when it is necessary during dental treatment.

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How Sedation Dentistry can Change the Way You Experience the Dentist

How Sedation Dentistry can Change the Way You Experience the Dentist

One extremely common fear shared by many people is a fear of the dentist. Patients who possess this fear are often anxious and nervous about the sights, sounds and smells of a dentist’s office. Just imagining a routine visit can leave someone shaken and fearful, unable to sleep the nights prior to treatment.

Patients who share this common fear can put off necessary dental work. A fear of pain or needles can lead a patient to tolerate tooth pain or signs of infection in the mouth. If this sounds like you, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry options.

Many people assume you must be fearful at a phobic level to benefit from sedation dentistry. This isn’t true! Sleeplessness, anxiety and low-level fear can all be helped with some form of sedation dentistry. Oral sedatives can be prescribed to be taken the night prior to a dentist visit, as well as the day of, to ensure a restful night’s sleep and an easy day before treatment.

Sedation dentistry during procedures is very safe, as you are monitored at all times by the dentist. Because of the deep level of relaxation possible utilizing sedation dentistry, more work can be done in a single visit, cutting down on trips to the dental office.

General dentistry procedures such as checkups, regular cleanings and cosmetic treatments can all be performed on a patient being treated with sedation dentistry. For a patient with fear and anxiety, each therapy can be made better with the addition of sedation dentistry.

Over time, with the use of sedation dentistry, some of your fears and anxieties can begin to lessen. Positive experiences can build up mental and emotional trust in the dentist, and patients can find that they need less and less of the sedation to feel comfortable.


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Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is often hailed as a solution to all of a patient’s problems regarding dental therapies. It can address anxiety, fear, stress and pain. It can provide a comfortable experience for the dental patient, allowing the dental professional to work safely and quickly. As with any pharmacological agent, there are risks, and before you agree to any sedation dentistry option, it is smart to educate yourself about some of those risks.

While single doses of oral sedatives such as Valium or Halcion are unlikely to harm a patient, there are concerns regarding multiple doses of these drugs that could potentially cause a patient to be overly sedated, or even completely unconscious. Because each patient has a different metabolism, drugs can take between twenty minutes and an hour to become fully effective.

These time-delay issues are not problematic for inhaled sedation or for IV sedation, as these types of sedation dentistry are effective almost instantaneously. For oral sedation, however, a dentist who administers more than one pill could cause an overdose if the medicine kicks in at the same time. Most dentists lack both the equipment and the training to effectively and quickly address an overdose in a patient who is unconscious.

In 2000, a group known as the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation was launched. Its purpose is to train dentists on sedation dentistry methods such as how to properly monitor a patient during a dental procedure to ensure that their heart rates and oxygen levels are healthy. Despite this, there are still concerns about adverse effects of adults with oral conscious sedation. There have been no reported adult deaths from overdosing; however, some children have died from oral sedation, leading to the practice being recommended only for adults.

If you are about to undergo a prolonged dental procedure, or if you are considering sedation dentistry to address personal anxiety or a dental phobia, look for a dentist who has received training in sedation dentistry and has high levels of experience to ensure that your procedure is as safe and comfortable as possible.


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Sedation Options During Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Sedation Options During Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Many types of cosmetic dentistry procedures such as crowns, bridges, tooth implants, or other invasive procedures require some kind of anesthesia in order to be performed in comfort for the patient. Even a procedure like porcelain dental veneers can be aided by the addition of some kind of sedation dentistry, especially if the patient is experiencing anxiety or fear regarding the treatment. For any patient seeking a more relaxed cosmetic dental experience, sedation dentistry presents several options.
Inhaled sedation, or nitrous oxide, is more commonly known as “laughing gas.” It is inhaled via a mask and is controlled by your dentist. It is a light sedation, and allows you to remain completely responsive and compliant to instruction. Nitrous oxide sedation wears off quickly; because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your treatment.

Conscious oral sedation reduces your anxiety while still allowing for responsiveness to requests and directions. Oral sedatives are typically prescribed in pill form, and can be taken up to an hour before your dental procedure. Some dentists believe that taking a mild oral sedative the night before treatment can alleviate anxiety and ensure proper rest. You should not drive yourself home if you have taken an oral sedative for your dental treatment. You will not be fully alert.

IV sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry.” It provides the most relaxed dental experience, allowing you to be deeply sedated while never completely unconscious. A natural effect of the drugs is full or partial memory loss of the time during its use, so you may have no memories of your procedure. You should never drive following IV sedation, and you may not be fully alert for several hours. Plan to go home, rest, and sleep.

Your cosmetic dentist wants you to be comfortable throughout your dental therapy and will know which sedation dentistry option is right for your particular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today about any concerns you have regarding your treatment so that you may have the most positive, pain and anxiety-free experience possible.


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Getting Treatment with Sedation Dentistry

Getting Treatment with Sedation Dentistry

Fear can stop come people from doing certain activities, and sometimes it may impact a person’s health and overall wellbeing. One example is visiting the dentist. You might be surprised at the number of people who completely avoid dental care because they are afraid. As a result, sedation dentistry has become a popular way to allow nervous patients to get the necessary treatment without all of the negative vibes.

Sedation dentistry involves administering drugs to help patients relax. There are various levels of sedation available, depending on the patient’s needs, procedures, age, and medical history. Your dentist can help decide which sedation amount and method is most appropriate for you. It ranges from light sedation to simply take the edge off, moderate sedation that renders you unaware but still awake, or deep sedation that practically puts you to sleep throughout treatment.

There are also a variety of methods for sedation dentistry. Oral medications are swallowed, nitrous oxide gas is administered through a mask over your nose, or medications can be given through an intravenous needle directly into your veins. The method is recommended based on each patient’s needs and situation.

Dental sedation manages pain so that you won’t feel anything during treatment. Most patients do not remember much about what occurred while under sedation. That is especially beneficial for patients with dental fears, because they are more willing to return for future appointments since they don’t have any bad memories from the last one.

Sedation is safe and effective when performed by a trained dentist. Make sure that any dentist who administers your dental sedation is qualified and experienced with the techniques. There is no reason to avoid dental checkups and treatment due to fear or anxiety. It is much better to get care to correct problems before they worsen, or head them off before they start. Sedation dentistry enables patients to comfortably and safely obtain treatment and eliminate dental fears.


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Types of Sedation Dentistry

Types of Sedation Dentistry

In order to ensure your comfort and ease during a dental procedure, sedation dentistry is often the best option. Many levels are available, including conscious oral sedation, inhaled sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Conscious oral sedation minimizes patient anxiety while allowing the patient to remain partially alert. Oral sedatives are used to accomplish minimal to moderate sedation. They come in the form of a pill, and are often taken within an hour of your dental procedure. Some dentists recommend a mild oral sedative the night before an appointment to ease anxiety and ensure a good night’s rest.

Depending on the dosage and on the individual recipient, an oral sedative can sometimes cause the patient to “doze off,” but the patient will never be fully unconscious and will awaken with a gentle shake. Even though you are never fully asleep during conscious oral sedation dentistry, you may not drive yourself home because you will not be fully alert.

Inhaled sedation utilizes nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” This gas is inhaled through a mask while your dentist controls the amount you receive. This type of sedation allows a patient to relax and to be fully comfortable, but to still be responsive. Nitrous oxide sedation has a tendency to wear off quickly. Because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your procedure.

IV sedation (sometimes known as “sleep dentistry”) provides the deepest, most relaxed sedation during dental procedures. Despite the name, IV/sleep sedation does not cause you to completely lose consciousness. Because the drugs used naturally produce a full or partial memory loss while active in your system, you may not remember anything that happened during your procedure. IV sedation is the fastest of the sedation dentistry methods. The amount of sedation is controlled by your dentist. You should not drive after IV sedation, as you may not be fully alert for a period of time.

Talk to your dentist about which sedation is right for you to ensure your dental procedure goes well and that you are comfortable throughout treatment.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-247-3510

Our practice is conveniently located in Morehead City, NC

Our Hours
Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: Closed

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