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Benefits of IV Sedation

If you have to undergo a dental procedure, your doctor may choose to use IV sedation rather than general anesthesia. This is because they may need to keep you alert or awake during the procedure in order to interact with you, or you may have a fear of needles or being unconscious during the procedure. You also may know IV sedation as twilight sedation. This is completely safe and helps patients completely relax during treatment. Patients wake up faster than with general anesthesia, experience fewer side effects and can return home faster post-op.

What is IV Sedation?

IV sedation, is a form of anesthesia care that a doctor can monitor. That is a good solution to use when general anesthesia, which we also know as unconscious sedation, or deep sedation is not necessary. It’s a combination of pain medication (local anesthesia), that is used to numb the area that will be treated, and a sedative to help you relax. Generally, experts can use it for outpatient procedures, such as dental procedures, when local anesthesia isn’t enough to prevent pain or discomfort. It relaxes you, and sometimes, makes you fall asleep. In most cases, patients are in a state of twilight, where they experience no pain or discomfort, and will not remember the surgery when they ‘wake up.’

What are the Levels of Sedation?

IV sedation is administered through a vein with an intravenous needle. There are three levels of sedation:

  • Minimal. This will help you relax, but you’ll be awake. You’ll be able to understand your doctor and answer any question they have and follow directions. This level of sedation is commonly used when you need to interact with your doctor during the procedure.
  • Moderate. A moderate level of sedation is when you feel very relaxed and may even fall asleep. You may or may not be able to remember all or part of the procedure.
  • Deep. With deep sedation, you won’t be unconscious and you’ll fall asleep. You’ll remember very little or no part of the procedure.

Top 5 Benefits of IV Sedation

There are certain benefits for your doctor to use IV sedation, including:

  1. If you have a fear of dental work, needles, and other sharp dental equipment, you won’t feel any pain or fear and will be completely relaxed.
  2. Your dentist will be able to perform your procedure with ease in a relaxed environment.
  3. If your doctor wants to make you unaware of the procedure, IV sedation is effective and reliable compared to oral sedation.
  4. Unlike deep sedation, conscious IV sedation does not make the patient unconscious.
  5. If you have a problem with gagging, IV sedation can be very beneficial.

Your Dental Procedure and IV Sedation

Your dental procedure should go without a hitch when your doctor uses IV sedation. You should, however, expect some side effects such as nausea, headache, and drowsiness. But, the side effects should go away quickly and your recovery time will be much less than with general anesthesia. Talk to your doctor about using IV sedation for your dental procedure to see if it’s an option for you. You’ll want to weigh the benefits versus the side effects and discuss what to expect during the procedure.