What is IV sedation and why is it recommended for dental and/or surgical care? 

It is not uncommon for dental or surgical procedures to present with complications during care that may require more difficult or challenging techniques – even with procedures as routine as a filling.

It is frustrating for patients (and the doctor) to require two, three, four visits or more when treatment could have been managed effectively with IV sedation, allowing for advanced techniques to be rendered during the same clinical appointment.  Also, longer appointments are managed well with IV sedation.

IV sedation is safe for a lot of reasons.  I am trained in this procedure and was granted a permit by The Ohio State Dental Board.

It can be readily reversed with an antidote.

It is not general anesthesia in which we “knock you out”.

Most likely you will fall asleep, float in and out of sleep, or perhaps not fall asleep, but remember hardly anything about the procedure.

♦ Fact:   I will not perform certain procedures (or in certain situations) without IV sedation.

Examples include anxious patients, some extraction (pulling teeth) types, wisdom teeth, implant surgery, bone grafting, some difficult root canal procedures, some root canal surgeries (apicoectomies) and some esthetic dental procedures.

Also, I highly encourage root canal treatment and/or apicoectomy to be performed with IV sedation because of the complexity and length of the procedure.

♦ Fact:  We try our best to make you comfortable; but other factors prevail.

♦ Fact:   Many patients have difficulty sitting in a dental office with anxiety about the unknown. Or they fear injections or are apprehensive about receiving advanced or complex procedural techniques.

IV sedation helps with these problems and provides amnesia of the experience.

♦ Fact:  Sitting in a dental chair for an extended length of time causes many patients to become restless and/or to fidget and move about in the chair in an attempt to get more comfortable.  That bothers us as well as you.  IV sedation helps with this problem and provides amnesia of the experience.

♦ Fact:  Dentistry and/or surgery is not always comfortable, due to problems achieving profound local anesthesia (numbing) or for other reasons.  X-rays that are made during treatment may gag you. Assistants and/or doctor need to retract cheeks/tongue/flap/tissues with retractors for extended lengths of time so that we can have better access; and this tends to be overwhelming for some people.  Patients have panic attacks or have trouble with coughing, gagging, needing to spit, or having things in their mouth; and these prevent optimal isolation and access. Some can’t tolerate having a bite block in to hold their mouth open; so gagging or TMJ complaints occur.  IV sedation helps with these problems and provides amnesia of the experience.

♦ Fact:   Local anesthesia (numbing) techniques fail sometimes.

Every clinician has this problem. As an endodontist, I am trained with emphasis on local anesthesia; but problems can occur.  IV sedation helps with these problems and provides amnesia of the experience.

♦ Fact:   If you are stressed or anxious, so are we.

IV sedation helps with this problem and provides you with amnesia of the experience.   Some patients are simply not “good” dental patients because of fear and/or anxiety.

♦ Fact:  It is easier for us to render care to a calm and relaxed patient who is comfortably resting.

♦ Let us know if you are pregnant or nursing and please disclose all medical problems and allergies of any kind.