Sedation is most appropriate for people with a real fear or anxiety that prevents them from getting dental work done. Sedation can also be recommended for patients with low pain threshold, have a bad gag reflex or have a large amount of dental work to be completed.
- Have a low pain threshold
- Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during procedures. It can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.
What is the treatment?
Once you are comfortable and your vitals are being monitored, the doctor will start the IV and sedative medications. An intravenous catheter will be placed into a vein and as the medication enters your body you will feel relaxed and drowsy. When you are properly sedated, local anesthetic will be given (sedatives do not block pain, so local anesthetics are given for your increased comfort) and your dental work will be done. Then the sedatives will be stopped and you’ll gradually become alert as the IVs are removed. Any post-treatment instructions will be given to both you and your escort during your recovery. Finally, when you are responsive and can walk comfortably, you will be released to go home.
What are the complications?
In modern dentistry, IV sedation is considered as a procedure which is absolutely safe for the patients. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some possible side effects and risks associated with intravenous sedation. Some of them are common with other sedation methods, while some are specifically related with the intravenous administration of the sedative medications.
Instructions to the patient undergoing sedation:
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Do Not eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure
- Have someone who is above 18 years of age accompany you to and from the procedure.