What is intravenous sedation?
There are many people who require a different approach for various reasons. For the patient who fears the required treatment, I.V. sedation offers a way to have required dental treatment done in a non-threatening manner. Other patients who benefit are those who need surgical procedures or a very large amount of work to be done at one time.
What does IV sedation feel like?
A lot of dental offices use terms such as "sleep dentistry" or "twilight sleep" when talking about IV sedation. This is confusing, because it suggests that IV sedation involves being put to sleep. In reality, you remain conscious during IV sedation. You will also be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist.
How is IV sedation administered?
"Intravenous" means that the drug is put into a vein. An extremely thin needle is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin in either the arm or the back of your hand. This needle is wrapped up with a soft plastic tube. The needle makes the entry into the vein, then is slid out leaving the soft plastic tube in place. The drugs are put in through that tube (which is correctly referred to as an "indwelling catheter", but more commonly known by the tradename of Venflon). The tube stays in place throughout the procedure.
IV sedation: Is it safe?
IV sedation is EXTREMELY safe when carried out under the supervision of
a specially-trained dentist. Purely statistically speaking, it's even safer
than local anaesthetic on its own! However, contraindications include pregnancy,
known allergy to benzos, alcohol intoxication, CNS depression, and some
instances of glaucoma. Cautions include psychosis, impaired lung or kidney
or liver function, and advanced age. Heart disease is generally not a contraindication.
Pre-operative and Post-operative Instruction for intravenous (IV) sedation
(1) Nothing to eat or drink by midnight. If the dentist prescribes pre-treatment
oral medication, then take the medication with a small sip of water. (2)
Arrange for someone to take you to the dental office AND stay there with
you during the surgery. (3) Purchase all the necessary medications that
you need to take after the surgery (for example, pain killer and antibiotics).