IV Sedation Dentistry

By now you’ve heard the advice that you should visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. While that sounds great in theory, it’s not always possible for people with busy lives and no dental insurance.

But when you wait too long to fix a dental problem because you don’t have the time or you’re worried about the cost, those “minor” issues don’t go away. They might hide out for a little while, letting you think you won the battle, but the truth is that they’re just sitting there deteriorating more. 

When they do rear their heads up again, the pain is much worse and the severity of that “easy” problem is no longer simple to fix.

That’s when a trip to the dentist can take a painful detour. Don’t let that derail you, though. With our sedation options at Mountain View Dental, we make taking care of all your oral health concerns as painless and streamlined as possible.

Of course, the best way to avoid painful visits is to have regular checkups. If it’s too late for that, you may need a procedure that requires sedation to complete. When your dentist suggests IV sedation, you probably have a lot of questions, and that’s normal.

This guide will help you understand what IV sedation is, when it’s needed, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to have it done.

Sedation Dentistry Facts

Anytime sedation is involved, people automatically get concerned. It’s a perfectly typical reaction. The trick to overcoming this concern is to understand the science and truth behind sedation.

Sedation is a simple addition to regular dental care that is used around the world by millions of dentists all the time. Before you allow your preconceptions and fears to cloud your judgment about IV sedation, let’s clear up a few of the most common worries.

First, IV sedation is an approved method of treatment with the American Dental Association, as long as the physician applying it is certified to do so from an accredited school. When you’re having a procedure done at Mountain View Dental, that’s definitely taken care of!

Next, you’re not unconscious with IV sedation. It’s a form of “conscious” sedation specifically designed to relax you and reduce your anxieties. You’re less aware of the things going on around you, but you can respond to any instructions or questions during the procedure. You won’t “notice” what is going on in your mouth, but you can breathe perfectly fine and communicate.

Finally, IV sedation works fast. That’s why it’s the preferred method of anesthesia for people who are worried about their upcoming procedure. Other sedatives can take a while to kick in, but IV sedation is, by definition, administered intravenously. Because it goes straight into your vein, the results are almost immediate. 

Benefits of IV Sedation

Some of the most requested forms of sedation include nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pills. These are safe and effective, but they don’t have all the benefits that IV sedation does.

Consider these advantages to IV sedation before you choose which type of anesthesia you prefer:

  • With IV sedation, the effects are almost immediate. You shouldn’t feel more than a mild discomfort during the procedure, if you feel anything.
  • Because you’re alert, it’s easy for us to monitor your vitals and check with you to make sure you’re still feeling good. If you begin to notice any discomfort more than you were, the dosage can be adjusted until you feel good again.
  • You are able to respond to instructions while under sedation, making it easier to get the job done. 
  • The sedation lasts longer, so it’s possible that if you need multiple procedures completed, you may be able to do some or all of them in one visit.
  • While you’re “out,” your brain goes into a sort of hibernation state, causing you to not retain the memories of the procedure. Once the sedation wears off and you “wake up,” you won’t recall the discomfort.

With so many benefits to IV sedation, it’s easy to see why it’s the preferred method of anesthesia by many dentists.

Preparing for Your IV Sedation

Unlike when you have a local anesthetic, there is some prep work that goes into getting ready for your appointment when you’ll be having an IV sedation-backed procedure. The anesthesia lasts longer for some people than others, so it’s best to prepare ahead for things like transportation.

You’ll have some before and aftercare instructions given to you. In general, they’ll include things like:

  • Before your appointment, don’t eat or drink for at least six hours.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in easily.
  • Stop taking any medications that your dentist told you to avoid at the timeframe that was discussed.
  • Let your dentist know any changes that have come up since your last visit. This could be anything like a hospital visit, car accident, or new medication. Anything new that affects your health must be disclosed before the procedure.
  • Make sure you have someone to take you to the appointment and bring you home.
  • Don’t make any plans for 24 hours after your procedure so you can relax and recover. 
  • Have someone available to pick up your medications if you weren’t able to get them beforehand.
  • Don’t engage in any strenuous activity.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or unapproved medications.

Above all, let us know if you are experiencing any complications. These are rare, but they happen, and we can let you know what to do if anything comes up.

Do You Need Sedation? Trust Us With Your Care

Any procedure you have done should only be performed by experts that you can trust. At Mountain View Dental, our trained staff and experienced dentists have the skills and knowledge to give you the best care possible.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation or exam. Having a procedure performed that needs IV sedation, or any other sedation, can be stressful. 

When you put your care in the hands of the specialists at Mountain View Dental, you get the peace of mind of knowing that you have skilled, compassionate professionals taking care of you from start to finish and beyond.

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