When you go to the dentist to have work done you secretly hope that you don’t feel any pain when having dental procedures done on you. It generally works for most routine dental jobs like cavities, root canals, etc. But there are some people who are either petrified of the dentist or have low tolerance for pain and request that they get something stronger to numb the pain. That’s where IV sedation comes in. It’s done for major dental work and patients who just cannot tolerate pain.

What Makes IV Sedation Different?

Well let’s look at what it is. IV sedation doesn’t generally put you to sleep. That would be general anesthesia. General anesthesia is where you are completely asleep and cannot be awoken until either the medicine is out of your system or they give you something to wake you up. This requires a specialist and may be costly. IV sedation is different because you are semi awake however, you are not likely to remember anything that happened during the procedure. The good part of IV sedation is that you are able to answer basic questions and commands during the procedure . This helps those with severe anxiety to relax and have their procedure done without pain and increased stress.

What Medications Are Used

The type of medications that are used for IV sedation is a class of benzodiazepines. Previously they used Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) for IV sedation but found that midazolam (versed) wears off quicker. This was ideal for shorter procedures. It is also easier on the body (unless you have a liver disease, then Ativan is usually used). Sometimes a dentist will initiate the appointment with laughing gas (or nitrous oxide) in order to relax the person enough to get the IV.

What to Expect

You should expect to be able to get through the procedure easier than if you weren’t consciously sedated. But there are some precautions that you must take. One of the most important is that you have a driver. You won’t be able to get home on your own so having someone to transport you is vital.
You also need to ensure that you don’t eat after midnight the day before the procedure. Be comfortable, leave your contacts out and jewelry off (these is done for safety reasons) and also if you are on a prescription measure and/or other substance, make sure you discuss it with your dentist first so there are no possible health issues.

Having IV sedation is something that nervous patients can get to help them get through the procedure stress free. Also the fact that they will not remember the procedure is a benefit because then they don’t have to relive memories of pain. Make sure to heed the recommendations of the dentist.

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