About IV Sedation

About IV Sedation Dentistry at Arlington Dental

Intravenous (IV) sedation is also known as conscious sedation or "twilight". Dr. Reed hold a Tx permit to perform IV Conscious Sedation. During this type of dentistry, Dr. Reed will give you IV Medication that acts as an anti-anxiety medication, helping to keep you calm throughout your procedure. Many patients look asleep (sedated) and very few have any memory of the procedure.

Will I be asleep during my procedure?

No. Once the sedative medications are administered you will feel very calm and relaxed, but you will be in a twilight state able to follow comands  from the dentist. One of the benefits of the medication is that you may not remember much about your appointment (anterograde amnesia). This is because the medication makes you so relaxed, you may feel as if you don’t really care about what’s going on, and you won’t pay much attention to your appointment. Anxyous or fearful patients prefer to not remember from the time it takes effect until it wears off. This makes it seem as though time is passing very quickly for you, and you may not remember much. This is completely normal, and shouldn’t cause you any concern. Dr. Reed and his staff will be sure that you safe, comfortable and relaxed during your procedure.

Will a local anesthetic still be used if I’m sedated?

Yes. Concious sedation is not general anesthesia it is light sedation that enables the Dr. to treat a patient while controling their anxiety. The medication given to you during IV sedation won’t act as a painkiller. Therefore, you will still need to receive a local anesthetic to ensure your maximum comfort throughout your appointment. The dentist always waits until after the sedatives have taken effect to administer the local anesthetic. This will keep you calm even if you have a fear of needles. He will then wait until the local anesthetic has taken full effect to begin any procedures. Because you will be mildly sedated, you will be able to communicate with the dentist whether or not the area to be treated is numb or not.

How is IV Sedation administered?

IV sedation medication will be given to you through a vein. This will require the dentist to place a very small needle into one of the veins in your arm or hand that is close to the skin. The needle will be covered by a small plastic tube. Once inserted, the needle will be removed, and the tube will remain. The medication will be administered through the tube. Dr. Reed is very experience and will make you as comfortable and relaxed as possible during your procedure.

The types of IV sedation medication

Depending on your individual case (age, race, weight, medical history, medications taken, hospitalizations, ect.) a number of different medications can be used for your IV sedation:

  • Benzodiazepines - Diazepam and Midazolam are anti-anxiety medications that will affect you in three ways: they will make you feel very relaxed, they will make you feel slightly drowsy, and they will result in at least partial amnesia. These are by far the most common medications used during IV sedation. Of the two medications, Midazolam is usually the first choice because it wears off more quickly.
  • Opiods Demerol, Morphine, Stadol, Nubain, Sublimaze, or Talwin are pain relieving medications that are sometimes used as an add-on to either the benzodiazepines or barbituates that are given for IV sedation. These medications are commonly used with barbituates, because barbituates can potentially lower your normal threshold for pain.
  • Barbituates  these medications are no longer used for conscious sedation in the U.K at all, and are rarely used in the US. In fact, only one medication, Nembutal is only used occasionally. This is because these medications require the presence of a separately trained anesthesiologist during their use.
  • Propofol Propofol is used by many dentists in place of a benzodiazepine medication. This is because patients can recover from the use of Propofol in as little as five minutes. For this reason, the medication must be given continuously by the anaesthetist. This medication may be used with patients who have developed a tolerance to benzodiazapines. In the UK this is classified as a general anesthetic, and is not used for conscious sedation.
  • Others there are a number of other medication that can be used for conscious sedation, but the ones listed here are the most common. In general, Midazolam will be the first choice among most dentists.

Is IV Sedation Safe?

Conscious sedation is very safe it is only performed by specially trained dentists, and in most cases is considered to be even safer than general anesthesia. However, it is important to know that there are some instances when IV sedation should not be used:

  • With patients who are pregnant
  • With patients who are allergic to benzodiazepines
  • With patients who are intoxicated
  • With patients who are experiencing clinical depression
  • With some patients who have glaucoma (specific type)

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Other instances where caution is called for include patients with impaired kidney or lung function, patients who suffer from psychosis, patients with sleep apnea, and patients who are advanced in age. If you snore, it is important that you let the doctor know, as many patients with sleep apnea have not be diagnosed. Patients who are overweight (certain BMI)

What are the advantages of IV sedation?

  • IV sedation has a number of advantages for you as a patient:
  • It keeps you calm and comfortable, while allowing you to remain awake.
  • It takes effect very quickly, and doses can be tailored to your individual needs as a patient.
  • IV sedation can be deeper than what is achieved with oral sedation.
  • You experience amnesia of your procedure, ensuring that you have no uncomfortable memories.
  • Reduced gag reflex.

What are the disadvantages of IV sedation?

IV sedation has very few disadvantages, including:

  • You may experience a small hematoma near the IV site.
  • You will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment.
  • You cannot eat for 8 to 12 hours before your visit.
  • IV sedation is an extra service which is more expense.
  • Do not attempt to drive after you were sedated.
  • Stay home and rest for the remainder of the day following your appointment.
  • Have someone stay with you until the sedation medication has fully worn off. Someone has to be responsable for you.
  • Do not eat a big meal right away. Eat something light if you’re hungry, such as toast or broth.
  • Be careful when eating not to bite your lips or tongue as you may be dumb still.
  • Laying down can help prevent nausea, as can drinking a carbonated beverage.
  • Do not drink any alcohol following your appointment.
  • Take medications only as directed.
  • If you have any unusual symptoms following your appointment, call the dentist.

Points to remember

  • Do not attempt to drive after your sedation dentistry appointment.
  • Stay home and rest for the remainder of the day following your appointment.
  • Have someone stay with you until the sedation medication has fully worn off.
  • Do not eat a big meal right away. Eat something light if you’re hungry, such as toast or broth.
  • Be careful when eating not to bite your lips or tongue as you may be dumb still.
  • Laying down can help prevent nausea, as can drinking a carbonated beverage.
  • Do not drink any alcohol following your appointment.
  • Take medications only as directed.
  • If you have any unusual symptoms following your appointment, call your dentist.