A lot of people feel anxiety, stress, and outright fear when it comes to an impending dental treatment. This is really quite common and perfectly normal. It only becomes a real problem when those fears start to interfere with their overall dental health.
A lot of people will admit to feeling some kind of anxiety before a dental appointment, but most of the time they find a way to push through it. Unfortunately, too many people let their fears rule the day and end up trying to deal with a toothache rather than coming in and getting it fixed.
There are several methods that people use to overcome their dental anxiety, and there’s one that’s extremely effective that we can administer here in the office. IV sedation is a powerful option for patients with real anxiety.
How Does IV Sedation Work?
IV sedation allows us to administer the sedative drug directly into the vein. This has a couple of important benefits. First, it means that the medication can start taking immediate effect so you don’t have to sit in the chair and wait for it to kick in. You also don’t have to take any pills before arriving in the office, which, depending on a number of variables, might not have you at the level of sedation you’d prefer.
That leads to the second benefit. With IV sedation, we can precisely control the level of sedation, so we can help you reach deeper levels if necessary, and bring you right back out of it when the procedure is over.
One important thing to know about this kind of sedation, though, is that the medication is not meant to eliminate pain. Though it is possible to add painkilling effects to the IV, that’s normally not the case (it will depend on your individual circumstances). It is all about anti-anxiety, which will help you relax and feel sleepy. It also produces an amnesia effect, so when the procedure is all over, it will feel like it only took a few moments – even if it took an hour.
So, IV sedation will feel like you slept through the entire thing, even though you were actually awake (and fully relaxed) and responding to our questions.
Once the procedure is over, you will need someone to take you home. You may even want to have someone hanging around the rest of the day, too, just to make sure you are fully alert. We also recommend avoiding any strenuous activities. Just go home and rest, eat light, and take it easy.
The Ins and Outs of Sedation Dentistry
While sedation dentistry is a great option for people who experience anxiety every time they make another dental appointment, there are some pros and cons that are important to know. The pros include:
- Deeper levels of sedation than oral or inhalation sedation
- No memory of the procedure
- Gag reflexes are diminished
- Patients can still cooperation with instructions
- The dosage can be measured precisely
- It is an extremely safe option
It is also important that you are aware that:
- You need a travel buddy to take you to and from the office
- Some people consciously or subconsciously fight the effects if IV drugs, so it can be harder for them to become fully sedated
- If you don’t remember the procedure – and house painless and easy it really was – you don’t have a foundation from which you can start overcoming your anxieties
There are several types of sedation available for patients, but we recommend IV sedation for its fast-acting effect and complete control. The most important thing, though, is that you talk to us about your anxieties and concerns, and then we’ll be able to work closely with you to determine the best solution.