The purpose of IV sedation is to make sure that the patient is extremely comfortable so that the patient has no stress during the dental procedure. The difference between IV sedation and general anesthesia is that while the patient is completely out during general anesthesia, in IV sedation the patient can actually respond to questions and is aware of what is happening. The sensation is like watching something from the outside, while knowing that you are completely safe.
How is IV Sedation Administered?
Patients wear no mask with IV sedation and instead receive the solution intravenously. IV sedation is administered through the blood stream. Once the procedure is ready to begin, the staff insert the solution into a vein in the arm. If the vein is difficult to find for some reason, then a vein finder may be used so that it can be found. Once the vein is found the IV sedation is administered and the patient begins to feel the effects almost immediately. The feeling is quite subtle, however. The amount of IV sedation can be adjusted so that the patient can either become more comfortable or even fall sleep if they want to. It’s important to note that when a patient falls asleep during IV sedation, it’s not the same as being asleep under anesthesia. The falling asleep during IV sedation may occur naturally, and the patient can awaken at any time they choose.
How Does IV Sedation Work?
IV sedation works more quickly than other forms of sedation. Intravenous injection through the blood is fast acting and patients feel the mild effect almost instantaneously. Patients report good experiences too, and report feeling no pain and having no discomfort. IV sedation works by calming the patient and relaxing them into a state where they are aware but carefree about the dental treatment they are undergoing.
Finally, IV sedation is safe and the sedatives in the solution will typically be out of your system in a few days. Patients are recommended to go home after having IV sedation and not back to work right away. IV sedation is widely available. Speak to your dentist if you are interested in IV sedation during your next dentist visit.