If you need to have dental work done, but you have a fear of going to the dentist, then talk to an IV sedation dentist about your problem to see if sedation dentistry is right for you. Here's when IV sedation dentistry is helpful and what it's like to receive the IV.
Times When IV Sedation Is Helpful
First, it's important to understand that IV sedation is not the same as having general anesthesia that knocks you out completely. When you go to an IV sedation dentist, the medication you receive puts you in a relaxed state, but you'll still be awake. Being put in a relaxed state helps you cope with dental anxiety, a fear of needles, a strong gag reflex, and the inability to stay still for long periods.
The medications used for IV sedation are often benzodiazepines. The particular medication chosen depends on your general health and other factors. However, they all work in a similar way to put you in a deep state of relaxation so you feel no distress during the procedure. This helps you endure a long treatment period when you need multiple procedures during the same visit.
You might also be given a local anesthetic in the teeth being worked on to ensure you feel no pain. The dentist might also give you additional pain relievers or even give you nitrous oxide if you have anxiety over having the IV inserted. The advantages of using IV sedation are that the dentist can easily adjust the amount of medication you receive to keep you comfortable, the medication acts fast, and the effects of the medication can be reversed when the procedure is over.
What It's Like To Have IV Sedation Dentistry
The dentist has to insert a needle in the back of your hand or another location to hook up the IV. You might feel a small pinch when the needle goes in, but once the needle is in place, you shouldn't feel any discomfort. The doctor can then administer the medication directly to your bloodstream.
Before long, you'll start to feel more and more relaxed. You might even be tempted to fall asleep, and if you do, you can be awakened easily and be alert enough to follow orders from the dentist even though you're relaxed. You may lose track of time and feel like you've been sedated for just a short while, even if you have a long procedure.
The medication used during IV sedation can also have an amnesia effect that causes you to not remember much about the procedure. This is beneficial if you have dental phobias. You might feel tugging and other sensations during your dental visit, but the pain should be controlled. When your dental visit is over, you'll be alert but a little groggy, so you shouldn't drive for the rest of the day.