Routine dental cleanings and examinations can be completed with no medical intervention necessary. Some patients prefer sedation during medical procedures to relax and alleviate dental fear. Other dental work may require anesthesia or sedation to ensure a hassle-free procedure.
Because sedation can affect a patient’s awareness, some individuals may be nervous about its use during dental procedures. However, learning more about how it works and the assurance of safety can make a patient more comfortable. Dr. Bradley Dean, a dentist in Plano, TX, describes the benefits and risk factors involved with IV sedation dentistry.
How Does IV Sedation Work?
Sedation features a medication that affects a patient’s nervous system, slowing brain activity so that a patient feels relaxed. With IV sedation, the medication is delivered directly to the bloodstream intravenously.
Sedation differs from general anesthesia in that the patient remains awake although in a state of deep relaxation. They will retain a sense of awareness of their surroundings and be able to respond to staff prompts.
Once the medication is administered, the effects begin instantaneously. The sedation wears off gradually once the IV drip is removed, but the patient may feel groggy for the rest of the day after their procedure.
Why Is IV Sedation Used?
Sedation can improve a patient’s experience during dental procedures, but it can also ensure a smoother process for the dental professional too. Sedation is often used for patients with severe anxiety about dental work, and it helps the patient relax.
This medication also improves patient comfort by enhancing the effects of an anesthetic and relieving tension or soreness that may occur in a patient’s muscles or joints. It also relaxes a patient’s gag reflex.
IV sedation specifically is used in dental procedures because it is easier to control than an oral sedative. A dentist can reliably provide the ideal state of relaxation for a patient with fewer side effects than a tablet.
What Risks Are Involved?
Before administering this medication, your dentist will consult your medical history to ensure this treatment is a safe option for you. Patients who are pregnant, have allergies, heart conditions, or issues with their nervous system might not be eligible for this treatment.
Your dentist will provide guidance to prepare for your dental appointment so that you will experience the best results with IV sedation. This includes fasting before your appointment and avoiding alcohol or other medication that may interfere with IV sedation.