Information on IV sedation dentistry and how does it work?
IV is short for intravenous, and this is a way of administering sedative medication via the veins. As this works quickly, many patients choose this type of sedation. A tiny needle, which is inserted either in the top of the hand or within the inner elbow, is used to deliver the IV sedation medication.
What if I’m scared of needles?
Being sacred of needles is not uncommon, and some patients will fear IV sedation as a result. Those who do experience an IV sedative say that the needle sensation feels akin to a small pinch or prick. Beforehand, an oral sedative can be given to you and/or a topical anaesthetic where the needle is due to be placed.
How beneficial is IV sedation?
IV sedation, as with other types of sedation dentistry, is meant to relax you, remove your anxiety, and make you feel totally comfortable. You shouldn’t also feel any pain. When lying back in the dental chair you may feel the need to close your eyes, but you won’t fall asleep and you will be able to respond verbally to your dentist. Due to your being so relaxed, high quality dentistry will be easier and treatment will take less time. IV sedation will be helpful if you find sitting in the dental chair for a long time uncomfortable, or if you are affected by a bad gag reflex. Sights, sounds, and smells in the dental office will not be so apparent because of your relaxed state. By the next day you will hardly have remembered anything about the appointment.
Your dentist can speedily and comfortably increase or reduce the level of IV sedation, which is one of its major benefits. The effects of the sedation medication can also occur more quickly with IV sedation.
What happens at the first appointment?
The first appointment is a standard consultation with your dentist, and will involve your complete health history. Your needs will be fully evaluated, a preliminary oral examination performed, and the recommended procedures will be explained to you. There will be measurements of your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, and possibly x-rays as well. Your dentist must be told about any medications and supplements you take, which will allow them to note possible drug interactions with the sedation medications. Sedation dentists make your safety paramount! Your dentist will fill out the necessary paperwork once a treatment plan has been agreed, which will also require your consent. You will be issued with instructions before your appointment takes place and/or medications. Any questions you want to ask can be answered before your appointment, too.
What does my actual treatment appointment entail?
The majority of dentists will ask a patient not to eat or drink eight hours before their IV sedation appointment. A companion will also be expected to take you to the dental surgery and back. As with oral sedation, either your IV sedation dentist or a trained dental nurse will be with you throughout. Loose and comfortable clothing is encouraged, and, to aid relaxation, shoes should be easy to remove. Blankets will be wrapped around you once you are on the dental chair to keep you warm and comfortable.
You will be closely monitored throughout the whole appointment by your anaesthetist, with your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, levels of oxygen and pulse all tracked. When appropriate your anaesthetist may utilize more monitoring devices. The position of your neck and head will also be closely monitored by your dentist to make sure your airway reamains open and comfortable.
When your IV medication has been administered you will become relaxed. You will become less aware of surrounding sights, sounds, and smells. The blankets will give you a feeling of security and keep you warm. When you are sedated, your dentist will normally be able to carry out more high quality dentistry. This is through the relaxation of your jaw and tongue, as well as your facial muscles, allowing your dentist to be more efficient.
What is the recovery time?
The recovery time can vary from patient to patient, but shortly after the IV medication has stopped many patients will feel more lively. Driving or operating heavy machinery shouldn’t be attempted for a minimum of 24 hours after the appointment has ended. In the instance of any post-treatment nausea, a prescription can normally be provided by your dentist. Patients should drink lots of water and clear fluids for the rest of the day and sleep well. Aftercare instructions will be given to you by your dentist with regard to the specific dental work you’ve had done. Pain levels, for many sedation patients, will be markedly less noticeable a day after treatment. It is believed that this is due to the relaxed nature of the patient, and consequently the dentist can use a reduced amount of force and has easier access to the mouth.