Going to the dentist and having one’s teeth poked, prodded, and examined is a major fear for a lot of people. Even for procedures that are relatively painless, the anxiety that comes from visiting the dentist can be too much. This fear can be born out of an unfortunate past experience, such as a particularly unpleasant trip when you were a child, or from hearing a story of a friend or loved one that had a bad experience. And sometimes it arises in someone that simply has an overactive imagination. Regardless of the reason, the fear is real and accommodations can be made to lessen it.
IV conscious sedation is one method used by dentists to help their patients that are suffering from anxiety due to dental procedures. This method of sedation is sometimes called “twilight sleep” and does not entail the patient becoming as sedated as general anesthesia.
The benefits include:
- Decreased anxiety: The IV sedation is provided before the dental procedure and can help alleviate the stressful anticipation one may feel before an examination. In addition, IV sedation helps during the procedure as well, preventing anxiety and fostering a calm mindset. This is often the main reason that patients choose IV conscious sedation.
- Reduced Pain: The patient will sometimes fall into a light sleep or semi-conscious state. This can help reduce their perception of any pain. However, an anesthetic may still be administered in order to fully prevent any pain.
- Memory: Anxiety before a dental procedure can often be amplified by memories of previous procedures. IV conscious sedation typically prevents a patient from fully remembering the event, helping them reduce their anxiety even further.
- Safety: IV sedation is completely safe for patients to use. The dose is controlled so that only the necessary amount is given. In fact, because of the amount of control dentists have over the dose, IV sedation is considered more effective and safer for most patients than oral sedatives.
- More Effective: The dentist can better perform their procedure if the patient is relaxed.
What to Expect When Receiving IV Conscious Sedation
A short time before you begin your procedure the IV sedation will be administered. This is done plenty of time in advance so that the medication has enough time to begin working. As your anxiety fades away, the dentist can administer any other medications that are required, such as an anesthetic, antibiotic, or anti-inflammatory.
Throughout the procedure, your anxiety and sedation levels can be monitored along with your vitals. More or less sedation medication is provided so that you remain in a steady state. The perfect levels are maintained throughout the entire visit.
If you have a fear of having your teeth worked on or experience high levels of anxiety when going to the dental office, then talk to your dentist about what options you may have. IV conscious sedation may be the answer you’ve been looking for.