IV stands for intravenous. IV sedation medication is delivered through a very small needle placed in the back of your hand or within your inner elbow. Because of its rapid effect, many patients prefer this relaxation option.
“ I thought you were going to put me to sleep.” Just like other forms of sedation dentistry, IV sedation will relax you and make you completely comfortable. The goal of IV sedation is to induce a state of profound relaxation-not loss of consciousness. If you have a bad gag reflex or difficulty sitting in a dental chair for long periods, IV sedation will help you with that, as well. You’ll be so relaxed that you may be unaware of the sights, smells, and sounds of the dental office, but still able to respond to verbal cues from the dentist. Patients remember little to nothing of their appointment by the next day.
IV sedation gives your dentist optimum control of the amount of medication administered – your level of sedation can be increased or decreased quickly and comfortably.
During your first appointment, the dentist will gather a complete health history, evaluate your needs, perform a preliminary oral exam, and explain the recommended procedures.
It’s critical to tell your dentist about all medications and supplements you take so they can check for any potential drug interactions with the sedation medications. Safety always comes first. Your dentist will have you fill out paperwork giving your consent for treatment, answer any questions, and issue pre-appointment instructions and/or medications. He or she may also contact your doctor(s) to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the type of treatment being proposed.
You should not eat or drink anything eight hours before your IV sedation appointment, and a companion is required to take you to and from the dental office. The dentist will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, oxygen level, and pulse throughout the appointment. Upon administration of the IV medication, you will quickly begin to feel relaxed and at ease.
There is no set amount of recovery time, because every patient is different. Many patients begin to feel more alert soon after the IV medication is stopped; however, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the end of your appointment.