There are many forms of sedation used in dental treatment, for a variety of reasons. You may be familiar with methods such as nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, or oral sedatives. Today, however, we’re discussing the use of IV sedation in dentistry and why it might be the right option for you depending on factors such as the type of dental treatment you will receive or your anxiety level. When administered by a properly trained dentist or anesthesiologist, IV sedation is very safe and effective.
So, how does IV sedation work, what are the benefits and is it the right choice for you? Keep reading to find out!
How Does Intravenous Sedation Work?
IV sedation, short for intravenous sedation, provides a higher level of sedation compared to oral sedatives or nitrous oxide that provides a deep feeling of relaxation. As the name implies, IV sedation is administered intravenously, meaning through a vein. The anesthesiologist or dentist will insert a small needle either into the inside of an elbow or into the back of one of your hands. For those not fond of needles, even the tiniest ones, your dentist or anesthesiologist can apply a numbing agent on the skin before administering the IV.
The next big question you likely have is how will you feel under IV sedation during your dental treatment. Typically, IV sedation makes most dental patients feel very relaxed, almost to the point of fully falling asleep, although some patients may drift off into sleep if they are not required to be more conscious during treatment. Your dentist or anesthesiologist will choose the appropriate amount of sedation to provide depending on the needs of your dental procedure, as you may still need to perform basic commands and give simple responses to your dentist. Your dentist will also be able to monitor the level of sedation you are receiving throughout the procedure and make appropriate adjustments as needed.
After your treatment, you will still feel drowsy for some time while the sedation medication wears off. Because of this lingering drowsiness, an adult with a vehicle and a valid driver license will be required to accompany you during the entirety of your appointment and to drive you home afterward.
Benefits of IV Sedation for Dental Treatment
You now know there are different levels and methods of sedation in dentistry, but what does IV sedation offer that some others don’t?
Here are just some benefits of IV sedation for dental treatment:
- For patients with dental anxiety, IV sedation gives a deep feeling of relaxation both physically and mentally during the procedure.
- The medication used in the sedation allows for full or partial loss of memory during the procedure, similar to as if the dental patient were fully unconscious during the procedure.
- Patients under IV sedation retain some control over their responses if they are under a lighter amount of sedation, and are able to breathe on their own
- For patients with circulatory complications, IV sedation provides stabilization of their hemodynamic condition during the procedure.
- Recovery time from IV sedation is relatively quick and safe after the treatment is finished.
- After a procedure with intravenous sedation, patients have a significantly reduced risk of experiencing nausea, vomiting, urinary complications including urinary retention, and a rare but serious condition known as malicious hyperthermia.
- Lighter levels of sedation allow patients the ability to speak, while higher levels can help patients enter a deep sleep.
- Most dental patients qualify for receiving IV sedation if needed or desired, and it is especially safe for patients requiring minor oral surgery.
Is It the Right Choice for You?
Not every dental patient and not every dental treatment will require the use of IV sedation. So how do you know if IV sedation dentistry is the right choice for you? The two primary reasons your dentist might suggest IV sedation are for patients with dental anxiety or for longer and more in-depth dental procedures, including oral surgery, teeth extractions or root canal treatment.
Your dentist will discuss your sedation options with you prior to scheduling any dental treatments. Current health conditions or medications you may be taking can affect your eligibility for different types of sedation, including IV sedation, so be sure to inform your dentist.
IV Sedation Dentistry for Bucktown and Logan Square Patients
NK Family Dental offers a variety of sedation options, including IV sedation, for dental patients in the Bucktown, Logan Square, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park areas of Chicago. Our highly educated and trained dentists on our staff are able to safely administer IV sedation for patients with dental anxiety or who receive one of our best-in-Chicago dental treatments such as root canal treatment or wisdom teeth removal.
Compassionate and high-quality care for our patients is our commitment. For your Bucktown or Logan Square dentist needs, we hope to see you soon at NK Family Dental.
Schedule your next appointment with us today!