When most people think of sedation dentistry, they envision the convenience of popping a prescription anti-anxiety medication shortly before their dental appointment. Going back even farther into dental history, nervous patients could take the edge off of their fear by inhaling nitrous oxide during their treatments. IV sedation has been common in dentistry for many decades. For some time, it was mostly reserved for extensive cases such as oral surgeries like wisdom teeth removal. Today, dentists like Dr. Lee and Dr. Oh routinely use this method to help patients sit back and relax into the dental chair.
There is a common misperception that IV sedation means “going under.” That is not the case. IV sedation does not equal general anesthesia. It is simply a method of delivery. Nitrous oxide is inhaled, oral sedation is ingested through the mouth, and IV sedation is delivered directly into the bloodstream via a small needle that stays in place during a dental procedure.
Here is why more patients are choosing IV sedation in our McLean dental office:
- Speed of onset. IV sedation is one of the fastest-acting methods of dental sedation available. The effects of the selected medication begin to develop within seconds, whereas an oral sedative may take twenty minutes or more. Nitrous oxide is also fast-acting, but its sedative properties are lighter than IV medication.
- Adjustable sedation dosage. The initial dosage of IV medication is very light. Because of the speed of onset, we are able to ascertain just where we need to be in terms of dosage. The goal is not to put you into a light sleep; most patients continue to be aware of their surroundings and are able to speak with us. They can swallow and breathe on their own. What they lose is their fear and anxiety.
- Amnesia! The inability to remember the details of dental treatment is one of the most wonderful side effects of sedation dentistry. Coupled with the comfort of care itself, the amnesiac effect of sedation enables many patients to lose the fear that once held them back from getting the care they need.
You do not have to suffer dental anxiety. Call Galleria Dental Aesthetics to discuss your options for sedation during your next visit.