IV sedation is a form of conscious sedation that helps patients with anxiety relax during their dental procedures. It also helps patients to be more comfortable during a longer surgical appointment such as one that involves the extraction of multiple wisdom teeth. The dentist or medical nurse administers the sedation intravenously.
Instead of general anesthesia, this method does not put the patient fully to sleep, but it does make them less aware of their surroundings. They can still respond to verbal commands or gentle nudging, and should not need help breathing. In the majority of cases, patients do not remember the procedure at all when the effect of sedation wears off. Patients generally have a shorter recovery time with IV sedation than they do with oral sedation or general anesthesia.
Before the sedation appointment, patients come in for a consultation appointment where we will review their medical history to ensure that they are a good candidate for IV sedation.
On the day of the appointment, a dental professional or a medical nurse will start an IV in the patient’s hand or arm. If the patient needs any other medications — such as anti-inflammatories, or steroids — they will usually receive these through the IV, too. The dentist and nurse will monitor pulse, breathing, and blood pressure throughout the procedure to watch for any adverse reactions. Patients should immediately feel relaxed and unaware of any sights, smells, or sounds.
After the procedure, patients might feel slightly drowsy for several hours. They will need a responsible escort to collect them and take your home with the post procedure instructions. For the next 24 hours, patients should avoid strenuous activity, unapproved medications, alcohol, operating heavy machinery, or signing any legal documents.
The information provided below does not constitute dental advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal dental health and should not be acted on without consultation with a certified dental professional.
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Hi there! I have severe TMJ due to a connective tissue disorder which causes my jaw to dislocate very easily while talking, chewing, yawning, etc. It causes me a lot of pain so i avoid the dentist like the plague because keeping my mouth open for even a short time really hurts. It’s hard to brush my teeth due to this, so I know that i have cavities and am unable to chew on one side due to a broken tooth. I’m really worried about the health of my gums and teeth and want to get these issues fixed but there is no way i could handle an exam let alone fillings or cleaning. What should i do? Is there a type of dentist i could go to that could use general anesthesia?
Thank you for the help 🙂
Hi Natalie, you will want to go to a dental office that offers general anesthesia for cleaning and fillings and other dental work. There are general dentists who will regularly have an anesthesiologist and anesthesiologist nurse come to their office so they can offer that service to their patients. In Ontario, Canada, we also have dentists specialized in dental anaesthesiology who can do both general dentistry and sedation.