Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous sedation (IV sedation) also known as conscious sedation is a way of performing dental and surgical procedures under the influence of an intravenous sedative agent. It is widely referred to as ‘sleep dentistry’ or ‘twilight dentistry’. Unlike general anesthesia, during IV sedation the patient is not unconscious but rather in an induced, relaxed, sleep-like state.

IV sedation is a sort of middle ground and it doesn’t make the patient fully asleep. It makes the patient less aware of the procedure or treatment. During the course of treatment under IV sedation, additional local anesthesia is given for surgical and endodontic procedures to further alleviate the pain. The patient will not feel the pain of the injecting local anesthesia. The patient will be in a semi-awake state and can follow verbal commands and communicate with the dentist. On completion of the procedure, the patient will have no memory of the procedure done or the time that has passed (state of amnesia). This is done as a day care procedure. The patient will be sent home on the same day. The patient is advised on bringing a bystander and is advised against self driving, operating heavy machinery, signing important documents following the procedure.

Advantages of IV sedation:
  • Amnesia– The patient will rarely remember the procedure being done
  • Anxiety– free treatment phase
  • Shorter treatment time – When the patient is sedated, the anxiety factor is taken out of the picture. This leads to faster operating time.
  • No recollection of pain or discomfort during the procedure.
  • Faster recovery time
  • No gag reflux – If the patient is extremely sensitive and often has gag reflux during dental procedures, this will have a ‘gag-free treatment phase’.
  • Greatly helps patients with a dental phobia, needle phobia, and people with increased levels of anxiety.
What are all the procedures that can be done under IV sedation?

Essentially, most of the dental procedures can be done under sedation. Implant treatments, Endodontic root canal treatments, fillings, Prosthodontic crowns, extractions, surgical removal of impacted teeth.

Who would be the ideal candidate for IV sedation?

Any patient who is overly anxious or apprehensive, who has fear for needles, who has a phobia towards dental treatments and time-consuming procedures like full mouth rehabilitation, all–on-4 dental implant cases will be benefited from sedation as the patient won’t know a thing that had happened. In certain case scenarios, Zygoma implants can also be placed under IV sedation.

Are there any contraindications to IV sedation?

When IV sedation is carried out under expert supervision, it is considered extremely safe. Contraindications include any known allergy to benzodiazepines, CNS depression, pregnancy, glaucoma, alcohol intoxication. Relative contraindications include psychosis, impaired lung or kidney or liver function, and advanced age.

Can patients with the heart problem and other medically compromised conditions undergo sedation?

Heart conditions/ diabetes/ increased blood sugar level/ patients on blood thinners etc are not contraindicated. A thorough evaluation of each individual is done to assess various parameters. If all the parameters are under control, the patient would be fit for the procedure. Necessary precautions will be taken to ensure uneventful completion of the procedure.

Can I eat or drink before the procedure?

Eating or drinking before the procedure is strictly prohibited. Nil per oral (NPO) or fasting for 6 hours on solid food and 2 hours on water is strictly followed. If in case the patient eats or drinks before the procedure, the procedure itself will have to be deferred to a different time or date.

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