Sedation Dentistry: Uses and Benefits

IV sedation is an excellent solution for severely anxious or phobic patients. It is also necessary during more invasive or complex procedures.

IV sedation is useful for:

  • Dental implant placement
  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Tooth extractions
  • Bone grafting
  • Sinus lifts

Benefits of IV sedation include:

  • Minimizes anxiety and fear about dental visits
  • Reduces pain or extreme teeth sensitivity
  • Allows patients to remain comfortable during lengthy procedures
  • Reduces the risk of gagging
  • It helps patients who have a low pain tolerance or decreased sensitivity to localized anesthesia.
  • Reduces feelings of claustrophobia
  • Helps patients with a fear of needles (aichmophobia)
  • Aids special needs patients (physical, cognitive, or behavioral) or patients who experience difficulty controlling their movements

IV sedation dentistry differs from general anesthesia, which puts patients to sleep and requires the presence of an anesthesiologist.

With IV sedation, you will be lightly asleep and may be able to respond to questions during the procedure. You may not remember much of the procedure afterward because IV sedation can cause amnesia.

IV Sedation and Dental Anxiety: Twilight Sleep

Intravenous (IV) is considered deep sedation compared to nitrous oxide sedation or oral sedation. It is administered through an IV line, typically in the arm or hand. This method allows the dentist to carefully control the level of sedation the patient receives and monitor them throughout the dental procedure.

IV sedation is sometimes called “twilight sleep” because it produces a dreamlike state. Patients are lightly asleep during the procedure, but they may not remember much of it afterward.

IV sedation is a safe and effective way to minimize discomfort and is ideal for patients who experience more severe anxiety or fear when undergoing dental procedures. It can also be used for patients with low pain tolerance, sensitivity to certain smells or tastes associated with dental procedures, or a strong gag reflex.

IV Sedation for Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety is one of the most common factors when people delay or avoid seeking dental care. According to some studies, over 30% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear or anxiety.

At Virginia Oral Surgery Specialists, we understand that many patients experience anxiety. Therefore, we offer sedation options for our patients with severe dental phobia.

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Side Effects of IV Sedation

Like any type of medication, there are potential side effects associated with dental sedation. These side effects are usually mild and temporary.

Common side effects when undergoing IV sedation include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or tiredness after the procedure

In rare cases, more severe side effects can occur, including:

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cardiac arrest

If you experience these side effects, let your dental office or oral surgeon practice know immediately.

IV Sedation in Vienna, VA

At Virginia Oral Surgery Specialists, we understand that anxiety is a severe issue for many of our patients when they get in the dental chair. We believe IV sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to minimize patient discomfort and anxiety during dental procedures.

If you have been avoiding dental treatment because of fear or anxiety, contact our dental team today to learn more about our sedation dentistry options and how they can help you get the dental care you need. We are located in Vienna, VA, and can be reached at 703-520-2300.

Book Appointment

The first step towards getting the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted is to schedule an appointment with our office. You can contact us by phone or submit the appointment request form online and our office staff will contact you to confirm your appointment.