There are a number of options for sedation when you have dental work. The right choice for you depends on how well you deal with having dental work completed and how you respond to anesthesia. Another element to consider is the amount of dental work you need. IV sedation anesthesia is a great option for people who are fearful of the dentist, those who need a lot of dental work done, and for those who do not respond well to other types of anesthesia. Learning how this process works and what to expect will help you determine if IV sedation is the right anesthesia choice for you.
How does IV sedation anesthesia work?
IV sedation anesthesia is administered through an IV. You will be monitored by an anesthesiologist for the duration of your time in the dentist’s chair. If you need more or less anesthesia during the procedure the anesthesiologist can adjust the settings. Being monitored while under this type of sedation helps keep you safe and allows the dentist time to complete years’ worth of dental work in one or two visits.
How will I feel while receiving IV sedation anesthesia?
IV sedation anesthesia is considered ‘conscious sedation’ because you remain in a ‘semi-awake’ state. A semi-awake state is one in which you can breathe on your own and respond to some commands. You will not feel anxiety or fear while under IV sedation.
How will I feel after receiving IV sedation anesthesia?
After your dental procedures are completed you will be able to come out of IV sedation much more quickly than you would from general anesthesia. Because you were in a semi-awake state there could be some memories of the experience. But, those memories will not be the sharp and anxiety inducing memories that fearful patients associate with the dentist. Your memories will be of the relaxed experience you had while under IV sedation. In addition, it will likely feel like you were in the dentist’s office for a short amount of time-even if you had extensive work completed. The relaxed state you experience while under IV sedation anesthesia will make time to seem to go by more quickly.
IV sedation is an anesthesia option that helps many fearful patients start going to the dentist once again. It is not an option in every dental office because it requires additional training, the presence of an anesthesiologist as well as specialized equipment. If you think IV sedation anesthesia is the best option for you-and you live in or near Gettysburg, PA-you can find it offered at Samuels Dental Arts. Dr. Samuels and Dr. Berger work with their in-house anesthesiologist to provide anxious patients with IV sedation they need to help them overcome the fear that prevents proper dental care.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.