What Does IV Sedation Feel Like?

Posted by Dr. Soto Aug 09, 2018

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Going to the dentist’s office is scary enough for some people, but then to be told they’ll be sedated for a dental procedure? The idea can seem terrifying.

Many people have concerns about sedation, such as what it feels like and how safe it is. Here’s a complete guide of all you need to know about IV sedation.

What Is IV Sedation? 

IV (intravenous) sedation is the introduction of anti-anxiety medication into the patient’s bloodstream via a small needle into a vein. This type of sedation allows for a deeper level of sedation than some other methods.

It also produces a more relaxed state that can be safely sustained throughout the duration of a procedure. Each patient and procedure differ, so the dosage amount for the optimum sedation level varies case by case.

Why Would Someone Need IV Sedation? 

IV sedation is typically used in major dental procedures, such as wisdom tooth removal and a root canal. It helps for communication, unlike general anesthesia: While the level of sedation is deep, the patient is still able to reply to verbal prompts from their dentist, while still in a state of stress- and anxiety-free calmness.

How Is a Dental Patient Sedated?

While every dentist’s office has their own procedures, a typical IV sedation may follow this general process:

  • First, the patient is given anti-nausea medication to help prevent them from vomiting during the procedure.
  • Next, they’ll receive medications to reduce anxiety and saliva production while making them drowsy.
  • Finally, they’ll be administered the sedative.

Depending on the procedure, a dentist may administer a numbing agent into the mouth as well, so the patient doesn’t feel anything.

When the dentist has finished the procedure, another drug will be administered to bring the patient out of sedation. After these simple procedures, a patient can usually go about the rest of their day as usual, without feeling too drowsy or groggy.

What Happens During the IV Sedation Procedure?

An experienced dentist knows the signs of adequate sedation. One clear sign is that the patient responds with slow and slurred speech when responding to a dentist’s question. Other signs of adequate sedation are poor movement and coordination.

In the dentist’s chair, the patient may not be aware of what’s going on, and will likely fall into a deep, dreamless sleep. They’re calm and able to breathe on their own, while their heart rate is monitored.

Cosmetic and Family Dentist in Plantation

It’s recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year to maintain good oral health. For all of your teeth cleanings and dental needs, contact the office of Dr. Ernie Soto. Dr. Soto serves patients of all ages in Broward County for comprehensive dental care, and he specializes in cosmetic and implant dentistry.

Call (954) 368-6264 or fill out our online consultation request form today to schedule an appointment. We provide a full range of dental services to help you maintain your best possible smile!

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