Many dental patients opt to be sedated for extensive procedures and dental surgery. However, those with severe anxiety about dental visits can benefit greatly from Intravenous (IV) sedation dentistry. If the very thought of going to the dentist, even for routine matters, causes you extreme anxiety, sedation dentistry might be right for you. Read on and find out more.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
The term sedation, in this case, means that an IV line with sedating medications is administered to patients to help with dental anxiety during a procedure. Not every dentist is trained in sedation dentistry due to the special skills involved in administrating the correct amount of medication. Using an IV to administer medication allows for more precise monitoring of the drugs, unlike when a patient takes a sedative by mouth. Also, the effects of the IV sedative are nearly immediate with no need to wait for a pill to take effect.
While the patient is under, their vital signs are constantly monitored to achieve the optimum results without overdoing it. It's important to understand that dentists that advertise sedation dentistry may not be referring to IV sedation but to oral sedation. Discuss the choices with your dentist to choose what is best for you.
You May Not Sleep
In many cases, IV sedation creates a feeling of ease and relaxation and many patients do fall asleep during the procedure. However, sleep is not the goal and is not necessary. That means that, unlike with medications used during other types of surgery, breathing is not affected, and you may even be able to follow certain commands while under. Typically, patients remember absolutely nothing of the procedure afterward.
Who Might Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?
While sedation dentistry is perfect for those with anxiety, others might benefit too:
- When the treatment plan includes several procedures and the patient wants to have many performed at the same time.
- When the patient has had a previous bad experience at the dentist.
- For those who are difficult to numb enough for pain control without sedation.
- For those who gag easily.
Who Might Not Be Candidates for Sedation Dentistry?
- Pregnant patients.
- Those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions.
- Those on medications that don't interact well with IV medications.
Some insurers cover sedation dentistry, and some do not. Check with your carrier to know for sure. Speak with dental services about sedation dentistry and learn more.