If you’re nervous about going to visit the dentist, you’re not alone. Many people experience a little anxiety when visiting the dentist, whether it’s for a regular cleaning, or a different type of treatment.
But if your nervousness goes beyond just being a little upsetting and keeps you from visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you might be experiencing dental anxiety.
If you have dental anxiety and are looking for a solution, you’ve come to the right place! IV sedation dentistry is designed to help you relax and rest while you get dental work done. Keep reading to learn more!
Dental Anxiety Explained
Dental anxiety is a condition that can be different for everyone. Depending on the level of dental anxiety you have, you may suffer mild nervousness to extreme discomfort, fear, and even panic at the thought of visiting the dentist.
Unfortunately, dental anxiety often causes many people to put off going to the dentist, which can cause further problems down the road.
How Can IV Sedation Help?
Typically, you’ll remain awake during the procedure, but you might not remember much of your visit.
How Does IV Sedation Work?
IV sedation puts you into a deep relaxative state that is much stronger than nitrous oxide gas, commonly referred to as laughing gas, or an oral sedative.
If you receive IV sedation, your dentist will give you nitrous oxide to help you relax before putting the IV line in your arm or on top of your hand, where it will remain throughout your entire procedure. The line then administers the sedative directly into your bloodstream.
While you are sedated, your vital signs such as your pulse, oxygen levels, and blood pressure are always monitored.
Types of IV Sedation
There are several sedative states that your dentist can administer through an IV depending on your needs such as moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
Moderate sedation, or conscious sedation, is a level of sedative that allows you to stay awake during the procedure and respond to verbal commands all while being in a deep state of relaxation. It has a mild relaxation effect to help keep you calm during your procedure without affecting your body function or memory.
For patients who receive moderate sedation, you will need to arrange a drive home as the sedative may take a few hours to wear off, and you will not be allowed to drive for the next 48 hours.
Deep sedation will make you either almost unconscious or completely unconscious during your visit. Deep sedation might be right for you if you have severe dental anxiety, or you’re undergoing a long or complex procedure.
If you are deeply sedated, you won’t be able to experience any pain during your dental procedure, and you most likely won’t remember much of the procedure afterwards.
Just like moderate sedation, you must have someone to pick you up and drive you home after the procedure, as you will not be allowed to drive for the next 48 hours.
What are the Benefits of IV Sedation?
There are many benefits of IV sedation, including:
- Helps patients with dental anxiety relax during their visit
- IV sedation is more effective and reliable compared to oral sedation
- IV sedation is better for patients who have trouble with gagging during dental procedures
Is IV Sedation Right for Me?
Your dentist can help you decide whether or not IV sedation is a good option for you, but it might benefit you if you have:
- Dental anxiety
- A strong gag reflex
- Difficulty getting numb or comfortable
- Sensitive teeth
- Severe dental issues
How Can I Prepare for IV Sedation?
If your dentist has deemed IV sedation a good option for you, they’ll go over all the necessary steps you need to take to prepare for your appointment.
In general, it’s recommended that you:
- Avoid eating or drinking (including water) for at least six hours before your procedure
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment
- Wear loose clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up
- Let your dentist know beforehand if you’re taking any oral medications
If you have an IV sedation dentistry appointment at Sunshine Dental, please fill out our IV Sedation Consent Form and bring it with you to your appointment.
IV Sedation: Making Your Appointment Easier
If you have dental anxiety, a bad gag reflex, or a lengthy dental procedure coming up, IV sedation dental therapy can be just the thing you need.