About IV Sedation
IV stands for intravenous. Medication that is administered intravenously is administered through the veins. Because of its rapid effects many patients prefer this option. IV sedation medication is delivered through a very small needle placed in either the top of your hand or within your inner elbow. 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. Because you are completely relaxed, your dentist can accomplish more high-quality dentistry in less time. 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.
Discussing IV Sedation with Your Doctor
Your first appointment with the dentist will be a standard consultation. This is when your dentist will take a complete health history, conduct a full evaluation of your needs, perform a preliminary oral exam and explain the procedures being recommended. Your blood pressure, oxygen level and heart rate will all be measured, and your dentist may choose to complete x-rays during this appointment as well. It's critical to tell your dentist about all medications and supplements you take so they can check for any potential drug interactions with the sedation medications that will be used.
As with all dentistry, safety comes first! Once a treatment plan is agreed upon, your dentist will have you fill out paperwork giving your consent for treatment, answer any questions you may have and issue pre-appointment instructions and/or medications. Your dentist may choose to contact your primary care physician or any medical specialists you see for a consultation. This is done to ensure that you're a good candidate for the type of treatment being proposed. Most dentists require that a patient does not eat or drink eight hours prior to their IV sedation appointment, and a companion is required to take you to and from the dental office.
Just like oral sedation, your IV sedation dentist or one of their trained assistants will be with you at all times. You will never be left alone. 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. 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.
Call Dental Savers Northeast at (215) 297-6368. We will help you overcome the anxiety associated with dental procedures. Contact us to find out if IV sedation is an option for you.