September 18

IV Sedation Questions and Answers

IV Sedation Questions and Answers:

Question: Who is a candidate for IV conscious sedation?

Answer: Any patient who has anxiety related to dental treatment, or struggles with a gag reflex during dental treatment.  IV sedation is also commonly elected for surgical procedures, which also offers the benefit of allowing administration of other drugs during the procedure to help control post-operative pain and swelling.

Question:  Will I still need to be numb?

Answer:    Yes.  IV sedation is only used to induce a deep state of relaxation, unlike general anesthesia, in which a patient is completely asleep.  You will still receive a local anesthetic to ensure that your treatment is completely painless.

Question:  How is IV sedation different than oral sedation (taking a pill)?

Answer: Although oral sedation can be successful in some patients, by in large it is relatively unpredictable (because all patients digest and respond differently to oral medications), and can even be unsafe for these reasons.  Unlike oral sedation, use of an IV allows the provider to administer an ideal amount of medication to achieve the desired result, with the ability to quickly and safely adjust your state of relaxation, using a combination of fast-acting medications.  The IV also allows administration of several other medications to make the patient more comfortable after the appointment.  IV access also allows quick administration medications in the case of an emergency, especially with more medically compromised patients.

Question: How is IV Sedation different than Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)?

Answer: Nitrous Oxide is most predictably used for the treatment of children.  Similar to oral sedation, nitrous oxide can unpredictable or inadequate, and can even be distracting when used for treating adult patients.  For these reasons, the IV route is our preferred method for providing patients with sedation, safely and effectively.


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