Andra Mahoney, BS RDH
IV Sedation Dentistry
It is very common that people are nervous at the dentist office. While we do everything we can to make your appointments run quickly and smoothly, sometimes people need a little extra help. We offer several different options to make your appointments easier. If applicable, you can be prescribed a medication to help calm your nerves. You can be given Nitrous Oxide, also know as laughing gas. And finally, IV conscious sedation. All of our Signature Dental Offices offer IV sedation dentistry.
What is IV Sedation?
IV stands for intravenous. Medication is administered through the veins and because of its rapid effects, many patients prefer this option.
How does IV Sedation work?
IV sedation medication is delivered through a very small needle placed in either the top of your hand or within your inner elbow.
Some people have a fear of needles, that is not uncommon. Due to that, some patients are not able to tolerate IV sedation. However, most people describe the sensation as a small pinch or prick. Also, dentists can further reduce the feeling by giving you an oral sedative beforehand and/or applying a topical anesthetic where the needle will be placed.
What are the benefits to IV sedation?
Just like other forms of sedation dentistry, IV sedation is designed to relax you and make you completely comfortable. IV sedation also eliminates your anxiety and pain. Although you may lie back in the dental chair with your eyes closed, you will not be asleep during your appointment and will still be able to respond to verbal cues from your dentist. Because you are completely relaxed, your dentist can accomplish more high-quality dentistry in less time. IV sedation can benefit you if you have a sensitive gag reflex or difficulty sitting in a dental chair for long periods of time. You’ll be so relaxed that you’ll be unaware of the sights, smells, and sounds of the dental office. Patients remember little-to-nothing of their appointment by the next day.
IV sedation gives your dentist optimal control of the amount of medication administered and allows them to readily increase or decrease your level of sedation as needed, quickly and comfortably.
An additional benefit of IV sedation includes faster onset of the sedation medications, meaning you’ll be able to feel the effects of the medication quickly.
What dental procedures are recommended for IV sedation?
Mainly, people prefer to use it for taking out wisdom teeth and appointments that need to have a lot of treatment accomplished in one sitting. Those that have high dental anxiety also prefer IV sedation. However, IV sedation can be an option for any treatment that needs to done!
What is the recovery time after IV sedation?
There is no set amount of recovery time because every patient is different. However, many patients begin to feel more alert soon after the IV medication is stopped. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the end of your appointment. If you experience any nausea after treatment, your dentist can usually provide a prescription to help. Patients are encouraged to sleep and drink plenty of water and clear fluids for the remainder of the day. In regards to recovery from the actual dental work itself, your dentist will give you individualized instructions for aftercare. Many sedation patients report significantly reduced pain levels the day after their treatment. There are multiple theories for why this is, but the common thought is that because a sedation patient is relaxed and not tense during their appointment, the dentist can often use less force as well as access the mouth more easily.
Does Dental Insurance cover IV sedation?
Patients have different insurance plans, so there is no single answer. Generally speaking, most dental insurance plans do cover part or sometimes even all of the cost of IV sedation. It’s best to check with your insurance provider prior to your appointment to confirm your plan’s benefits.
If this is something that interests you, your dentist can review your particular needs and your medical history to see if you are a good candidate.
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