IV Sedation Dentistry vs. General Anesthesia

Posted by Dr. Soto Nov 20, 2020

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People who have a considerable amount of dental anxiety often avoid going to the dentist altogether – so in the meantime, dental problems become worse when they could have been easily addressed with a simple semiannual cleaning and dental checkup. The reasons vary by person, but the perception of pain, a previous traumatic experience, or the presence of needles and drills are some of the oft-cited causes. The anxiety can morph into a deep-seated phobia that keeps them from seeking dental care until an emergency leaves them with no choice.

Fortunately, pharmacological therapies like IV (intravenous) sedation provide patients with a completely pain-free way to undergo dental treatment of any kind, even regular cleanings – all you have to do is ask. You will feel relaxed or sleepy during the procedure, allowing your dentist to proceed with their work uninterrupted.

Let’s talk about the key differences between IV sedation dentistry and general anesthesia, and where you can go to start having a pleasant dental experience for a change.

How Does IV Sedation Dentistry Work?

If you request to have IV sedation for your dental visit, the dentist or a dental assistant will administer a mild sedative through an IV in your arm. There is no need for an anesthesiologist because the sedative is much milder than general anesthesia.

You may be able to customize the level of sedation you’ll receive, from minimal, moderate, or deep. If you choose minimal sedation, you will slip into a relaxed state but remain awake and able to respond to instructions from your dentist. With moderate sedation, you will feel drowsy during the treatment.

If you opt for deep sedation, you will go into a more natural but light sleep. You’ll also likely not remember what happened during the procedure. Once the treatment is finished, your dentist will wake you up.

How General Anesthesia Is Different

General anesthesia is a stronger type of sedation that generally involves a mix of intravenous medicine and inhaled gas. An anesthesiologist, or a dentist who is licensed to administer anesthesia, will deliver the medication which is designed to put you into a deep sleep. General anesthesia requires an anesthesiologist to monitor your vital functions closely throughout the duration of the procedure.

Unlike IV sedation, general anesthesia depresses both the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system – which makes this treatment unsuitable for many people. You may be susceptible to complications from general anesthesia if you have certain pre-existing conditions, such as the following:

  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • History of heavy alcohol use

IV Sedation Dentist in Plantation, Florida

Nowadays, patients have a wealth of pain-free options to keep their teeth healthy and strong. If you would like to find out more about IV sedation, contact the dental office of Dr. Ernie Soto in Plantation.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (954) 368-6264 today or by filling out our online appointment request form. We offer special financing with low-cost monthly payment plans through CareCredit® and LendingUSA. We look forward to giving you a comfortable and stress-free dental experience!


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