IV sedation is an anesthesia option that some dentists offer in-office. An anesthesiologist provides patients with the appropriate type and level of anesthesia throughout a variety of dental procedures. There are two types of dental patients who benefit the most from IV sedation including those who have anxiety about going to the dentist and those who need extensive dental work.
Fearful and anxious dental patients
IV sedation anesthesia has helped many fearful and anxious dental patients return to the dentist once again. Fear of the dentist is a very common problem for adults and leads many people to avoid going to the dentist altogether. The levels of fear and anxiety that people feel about the dentist can vary widely. For some, ‘laughing gas’ is enough to push through the anxiety and make it to routine and emergency dental visits. There are other people, however, that cannot bring themselves to visit the dentist for even the simplest of appointments that include x-rays and cleaning. When the typical options like nitrous oxide are not sufficient for overcoming fear or anxiety of the dentist, IV sedation can often help. IV sedation anesthesia is beneficial to fearful patients because it can create a feeling of calm during many types of dental procedures. An anesthesiologist monitors the patient and anesthesia level the entire time to ensure that the entire experience is comfortable and pain-free. This type of sedation can help very anxious and fearful patients get the dental care they need.
Dental patients that need extensive dental work
The other type of dental patients that can benefit greatly from IV sedation are those who need extensive dental work. There are many people who find themselves in a situation where they need extensive dental work. A group of people who commonly find themselves in this situation are those who fear going to the dentist. They avoid the dentist because of fear and their avoidance causes them to develop problems with their teeth. When a patient needs an extensive amount of dental work IV sedation can cut down on the amount of time that dental work requires. For example, someone who needs several years’ worth of dental work completed can have it done in as little as one or two visits with IV sedation. The design of IV sedation allows the dentist to get much more work done in one sitting than other types of sedation allow.
People who are afraid of the dentist and those that need extensive dental work can benefit greatly from IV sedation. It can transform the experience that patients have while at the dentist and increase the likelihood that they will return in the future for proper dental care.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.