IV Sedation

Sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. In most cases, patients are usually awake during treatment except for those under general anesthesia.

While most dentists can administer minimal sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation (happy pill), only a small percentage of dentists can offer more complex techniques such as IV conscious sedation (also called IV Moderate Sedation). Some dentists use a dentist/MD anesthesiologist, who is specially trained to give all levels of sedation and anesthesia to both children and adults. At Makeover DentalDr. Mosquera is licensed to perform IV conscious sedation dentistry as well as working in partnership with licensed CRNA’s anesthesiologists in lengthy and complex dental procedures. 

A dentist who is IV certified and licensed to administer IV sedation has received additional specialty training and has been legally certified by the state’s Board of Dental Examiners to deliver medical drugs that alter a patient’s consciousness for a comfortable, pain-free treatment.

Is This the Reason Why You Hate the Dentist?

There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:

  • No memory of undergoing the procedure
  • No sense of time while under sedation
  • No sense of smell or sound
  • No fear or anxiety during treatment

Most patients feel no discomfort during their dental treatment and feel surprisingly good afterward.

The following are the types of sedation used in dentistry:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation: Patients breathe nitrous oxide (laughing gas) combined with oxygen through a mask to help them relax. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive. The gas wears off quickly and it is the only form of sedation where patients can drive themselves home following the procedure.
  • Oral sedation: This type of sedation can range from minimal to moderate and is given via a pill. Taken about 1 hour prior to treatment, the pill makes you drowsy although you’ll still be awake. With a higher dose some patients become groggy enough to fall asleep during treatment but can usually be awakened with a gentle shake.
  • IV moderate sedation: Also called conscious sedation. The sedative is administered through a vein so it goes to work quickly. This method of sedation allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation. With this method you are in a semi-awake state and will likely have little to no memory of the treatment.
  • Deep sedation or general anesthesia: The sedation medication will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious – deeply asleep – during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot be easily awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

 During general anesthesia, you are completely asleep and cannot be aroused – not even by painful stimulation. Plus, general anesthesia requires additional support for breathing and can alter heart rate and other life-support functions which means an anesthesiologist is required to monitor all vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse.

IV conscious sedation puts you in a much safer and more comfortable “semi-awake” state of reduced anxiety. After the procedure, you will most likely have little or no memory of the treatment because of the amnesic effect of the medications used to provide the sedation. While under sedation you are able to respond to verbal commands or to a light physical touch. With IV moderate sedation you need no medical assistance to maintain adequate breathing and heart function.

Many patients find that sedation helps them to have a more positive experience at the dentist, even if they do not suffer from dental anxiety. If you gag easily or if your teeth are extremely sensitive, being sedated may make it easier for you to be treated. Some patients may also like to receive a sedative if they are having multiple cavities filled or are undergoing a long procedure such as deep gum cleaning.

IV sedation is available for virtually any procedure you might need to undergo at your dentist’s office, from oral surgery to routine examinations and cleanings. Sedation is safe for most patients, but your dentist will check your medical history and any medications you’re currently taking to make sure that it’s the right choice for you.

Even if you don’t suffer from any anxiety about the dentist’s office, sedation can still be valuable to you. If you have a strong gag reflex, sedation can help ensure that you stay comfortable while you are being treated by your dentist. Sedation can also be helpful for restless patients who need to have a lot of dental work done in a single visit. Sedation can even be used in combination with anesthesia to ensure that you remain totally calm and free of pain during any procedure.

Most patients have little to no memory of their dental treatment. This is one of the reasons that patients love IV sedation dentistry.

Following treatment, you will feel fine. But for your safety, we do require that you have a family member or friend drive you home.

Most patients have no trouble with IV sedation but prior to starting any treatment, we review your medical history. During treatment, we also monitor you very closely.

Request Appointment

A member of our staff will contact you to create your appointment.