Intravenous, or IV Sedation, is often the patient’s choice for oral surgery. Medications are administered through a line inserted into the vein. This is also commonly known as “twilight anesthesia”, as it is a depressed level of consciousness, with the ability to respond to verbal commands. Most patients will not remember anything about the procedure that was performed under this type of anesthesia. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through the nose, and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored during and after the procedure.
What Does it Fee lLike?
The patient actually remains conscious during IV Sedation and is able to understand and respond to the doctor. However, it induces a deep state of relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what is happening.
Additionally, the drugs used for IV Sedation produce either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when the drug first becomes effective until the time that it wears off. As a result, time seems to pass very quickly, and the patient does not remember anything, so that seems that they were “asleep” during the procedure.
Before your dental procedure
Patients should take some simple steps prior to undergoing IV sedation to better ensure that they enjoy the safest, most relaxing procedure possible.
Prior to arriving at our office for IV sedation, patients should:
Wear loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable.
Avoid eating or drinking 6-8 hours prior to the dental procedure.
Avoid taking any medications prior to the procedure (unless previously approved by your dentist).
Alert your dentist of any significant changes in medical history.
Bring an escort with you to our office.
During your dental procedure
After arriving at our office, staff will start an IV for the patient. The IV is typically started in a person’s hand or arm. The majority of medications will be administered through this IV and pushed into the patient’s bloodstream during the procedure. Typical medications include sedatives, pain medicine, anti-inflammatories, and/or steroids.
Through IV sedation, our patients enjoy a highly relaxed state free from any pain or discomfort. It is important to note that a patient goes through multiple levels of sedation before he/she is fully conscious. Because of this fact, your dentist is aware of any discomfort the patient experiences prior to the patient becoming aware of it, and the dentist can increase or decrease the amount of sedation medication and/or local anesthetic throughout the dental procedure to ensure the patient’s maximum comfort. Sedation can be maintained for multiple hours when necessary.
Often, IV sedation will be utilized for significant dental procedures including severe tooth extractions, routine wisdom teeth removal or multiple root canals. Because IV sedation is the strongest form of conscious sedation, patients should expect to have moderate to high levels of amnesia during the procedure.
After your dental procedure
Patients may be slightly drowsy following IV sedation; however, the drowsiness should subside within several hours following the procedure. Because our patients enjoy a highly relaxed state during IV sedation, they should expect some of the amnesia effects to extend past the procedure. For this reason, an export is highly recommended to drive the dental patient back home following his/her procedure, and patients should avoid strenuous activity, taking medications (unless approved by the dentist), drinking alcohol, making important decisions, and operating cars or heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the IV sedation. Returning to work following IV sedation is not recommended; however, patients should be suitable to work within 24 hours of a procedure.