If you’re nervous about visiting the dentist, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even though most dental appointments aren’t painful, it’s common for patients to be fearful of dentistry. Dental anxiety and full-blown dental phobia are unpleasant and uncomfortable and will adversely affect your oral health, which can ultimately affect your overall quality of life.
If you suffer from dental anxiety or phobia, sedation dentistry is a great solution for comforting and accommodating the faint of heart. Intravenous conscious sedation (also known as IV sedation) is when a drug is administered directly into the blood system during a dental procedure, in order to reduce the patient’s anxiety.
During conscious IV sedation, the patient remains conscious and can even understand and respond to requests from the dentist. Interestingly, the patient may not recall anything that occurred during the procedure because the sedation induces a state of deep relaxation to the point that the patient experiences a care-free feeling and isn’t bothered by the procedure.
Also, IV sedation drugs produce partial or full amnesia from the period of time that the sedation takes effect until it wears off. Patients who undergo sedation dentistry often perceive time to pass quickly, or it seems to them that they were actually completely asleep (even though they weren’t). Some patients “don’t want to know” or remember what happened to them during the procedure, so many people are pleased by these amnesia effects.
The word “intravenous” means the drug is administered into a vein. Many patients are also afraid of needles, but we use an extremely thin needle that is inserted into your arm or the back of your hand into a vein that’s close to the surface of the skin. The tiny needle is wrapped in a soft, plastic tube. We remove the needle, leaving the tube in the vein throughout the procedure. During your appointment, a harmless gadget called a “pulse oximeter” is clipped onto your finger or earlobe, and it’s used to monitor your pulse and oxygen levels.
IV sedation is quite safe when it is performed under the direct supervision of a specially trained dentist like ours. If you’re squeamish when it comes to the dentist’s chair, then sedation dentistry is a great solution for you. Come in and relax with us. We’re here to comfort and coddle the cowardly.