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A Guide to IV sedation 

IV sedation is the most common form of dental sedation and is known to be extremely safe and effective. It is a god-send for many anxious patients, who, without it, would just bypass going to the dentist through fear, which would eventually lead to dental conditions getting worse and requiring emergency dental treatment.

IV sedation is mainly used for patients who are nervous, but it also proves helpful for people having lots of complex work undertaken that will take a while to complete – it allows them to be relaxed for a long period of time.

What happens during the procedure?

Before IV sedation is undertaken, your dentist will explain what will happen during your treatment and how you will feel throughout. We at Pearl Dental Clinic take great pride in making our patients feel comfortable and relaxed, and try to ensure that every patient knows all about the process.

After this initial chat has taken place, the sedation process will then begin. In some instances, numbing gel will be placed on the area where the needle is to be inserted. This does not always happen, however, as it is up to your dentist to decide whether or not it is required.

Following this, the needle containing the sedative will then be placed into your hand or arm and the drug will be fed into the blood stream. The dentist will then decide when you are sedated enough for your dental treatment to begin. Always remember that the sedative will not put you to sleep; so you should not be alarmed if you can still hear everything that is going on around you. You will be in a conscious state but you will be extremely dazed and you will feel like you are in a dream. It is much preferred that you are in this condition as opposed to being anaesthetised, as you will still be alert enough to respond to instructions from your dentist and will still be able to take on board what the dentist is saying and explaining. You won’t experience any pain whilst sedated in this way.

During the sedation, you will be monitored closely by the dentist to ensure that you are in a stable condition. Things such as your heart rate and blood pressure will be kept an eye on, as will your breathing.

What happens after the procedure?

Once your dental work is completed, your dentist will give you time to come around from the sedation; will ask how you are feeling; and will check that you are feeling okay. You will be able to recover at the clinic for a short while and when you have come around a little more, you will then be allowed home after your dentist is happy that everything has gone according to plan.

Please be aware that it is advised that you do not drive yourself home after undergoing sedation. You may still be extremely lethargic and may still not have full control of reflexes. You will also struggle to judge speed and distance.

You should go home and rest for at least a couple of hours after being sedated. You should also try to avoid eating a big meal and drinking alcohol, and you should also reject any form of strenuous activity.

Benefits of this kind of sedation

As already mentioned, this kind of sedation is the most popular with both patients and dentists alike and it is not hard to see why. It is quick and easy to administer and allows people with even the most severe fear the chance to undergo required dental work that, if left, would otherwise turn into a dental emergency.

One of the benefits of this kind of sedation is that it is known to be one of the deepest and most intensive forms of sedation; which should help to put people’s minds at ease if they are worried about attending their appointment and are scared about feeling pain.

IV sedation is also known to be preferred because of the pace at which it takes effect. Because it is injected straight into the bloodstream, the sedatives take hold almost instantly, which speeds the process up massively.

People who suffer with a gag reflex will also find that IV sedation is the best route to take. 

Disadvantages of IV sedation

Whenever there are advantages, there are also disadvantages, and IV sedation is no different. One downside of this type of sedation is that it may not be the best choice for people who dislike needles.

Another disadvantage that needs considering is that IV sedation effects can last a while after the work has been completed so you should never try to jump back into your daily routine immediately after the work has been completed; you will need to rest at home and should avoid driving.