Sandalwood Dentistry

IV Sedation

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IV Sedation

Sedation Dentistry

Dental anxiety can create a huge obstacle to taking care of your teeth. Almost 22 percent of people skip their dental appointments because they fear the dentist, according to the American Dental Association. Thankfully, modern dentistry provides several solutions for finding peace of mind in the dental chair. IV sedation dentistry is just one of those options for easing your dental anxiety. Find out if IV sedation is right for you.

What Is IV Sedation Dentistry?

IV sedation dentistry works as a form of conscious sedation to help you feel relaxed during your appointment. This method does not put you fully to sleep, but it does make you less aware of your surroundings — including anything the dentist may or may not be doing to your mouth. That means you can still respond to verbal commands or gentle nudging, and you should not need help breathing. Unlike other forms of sedation that are inhaled (like nitrous oxide) or taken in pill form, the dentist administers the sedation intravenously, which means through your vein.

IV sedation provides several benefits:

How to Prepare for IV Sedation

Because you will forfeit some of your mental faculties, you will need to prepare more for IV sedation than you do for a typical dental appointment. Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your IV sedation:

Before

Your dentist will provide explicit instructions before your appointment. Usually, these involve recommendations to wear comfortable clothing, avoid eating or drinking 6-8 hours before sedation and stop taking certain medications (unless previously approved). You will need to provide a complete medical history and alert your dentist to any changes beforehand. Also, line up a driver to take you to the appointment and pick you up.

During

Once you make it to the dental chair, a dental professional will start an IV in your hand or arm. If you need any other medications — such as pain medicine, anti-inflammatories, or steroids — you will usually receive these through your IV, too. The dentist will monitor your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure throughout the procedure to watch for any adverse reactions. You should immediately feel relaxed and unaware of any sights, smells, or sounds.

After

After the procedure, you might feel slightly drowsy for several hours. Your driver will collect any post-procedure instructions from the dentist and take you home. You will need to clear your calendar for the next 24 hours and avoid strenuous activity, unapproved medications, alcohol, operating heavy machinery, or making major life decisions. Complications with sedation are rare but contact the dentist immediately if you suspect any problems.

Are You a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?

Before your dentist schedules you for IV sedation, you will undergo a health evaluation, including a review of your medical history and medication use. Patients who are older or have significant medical considerations might first require a consultation with their primary care physician or medical specialist. Typically, good candidates for IV sedation include:

Ultimately, your dentist knows best if IV sedation is right for you. However, the ability to offer IV sedation requires extra training, so check with your dental office to see what’s available. If dental anxiety prevents you from receiving the treatment you need, know your options for relaxing and comfortable oral care.

Dental anxiety can create a huge obstacle to taking care of your teeth. Almost 22 percent of people skip their dental appointments because they fear the dentist, according to the American Dental Association. Thankfully, modern dentistry provides several solutions for finding peace of mind in the dental chair. IV sedation dentistry is just one of those options for easing your dental anxiety. Find out if IV sedation is right for you.

IV sedation is also referred to as conscious sedation; the goal of which is to help you feel relaxed during your appointment. Conscious sedation makes you less aware of your surroundings — including the dental procedure.  It turns off the subconscious part of your mind that is fearful and allows the anesthesia to work well.  You will still be able to respond to verbal commands and you should not need assistance maintaining regular breathing. Unlike other forms of sedation that are inhaled (like laughing gas) or taken in pill form, the dentist administers the sedation intravenously, which means through your vein.  Dr. Strepka completed additional training with the University of Alabama Oral Surgery Residency program in order to offer this service.   The ability to be completely relaxed is a luxury, one that we are proud to provide.

  • It starts working almost instantly, allowing our team to get right to work while you rest.
  • Dr. Strepka can monitor your vitals in real time and respond with whatever intervention is necessary.
  • It creates a long period of amnesia, so you won't remember much or any of the procedure when you wake up.
  • It allows us to work efficiently because you are comfortable. This allows us to accomplish multiple procedures in a shorter amount of time.
  • It feels like you have taken a really nice nap!

A Sandalwood team member or Dr. Strepka will call or text you the day before your procedure with instructions. Usually, these involve recommendations to wear comfortable clothing and to avoid eating anything solid for 6 before sedation. This also includes milk and orange juice. We also need you to bring a driver who can stay with you for a minimum of 4 hours afterwards. Please take any normal morning medications with some water. If you are diabetic, please review that with the team member in addition to any other major medical conditions.

 

During:  Once you’ve made it to the dental chair,  Dr. Strepka will start an IV in your hand or arm. We use a combination of medications  The dentist will monitor your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure throughout the procedure to watch for any adverse reactions. You should immediately feel relaxed and unaware of any sights, smells, or sounds.

 

After:  After the procedure, you might feel slightly drowsy for several hours. Your driver will collect any post-procedure instructions from the dentist and take you home. You will need to clear your calendar for the next 24 hours and avoid strenuous activity, unapproved medications, alcohol, operating heavy machinery, or making major life decisions. Complications with sedation are rare but contact the dentist immediately if you suspect any problems.

Before your sedation appointment at Sandalwood, Dr. Strepka will review your medical and prescription history. Patients who are older or have significant medical considerations might first require a consultation with their primary care physician or medical specialist. Typically, good candidates for IV sedation include:

 

  • Those with moderate to high dental anxiety
  • Those with a strong gag reflex or trouble getting numb
  • Those who need longer or multiple procedures

If dental anxiety prevents you from receiving the treatment you need, please let us know so that we can chat with you about sedation as an option.

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