Dental IV Sedation: What Can You Expect?

Feb 1, 2023

Did you know that about 90% of people between the ages of 20-64 have tooth decay? However, those between 50-64 tend to have a higher prevalence of it. 

Unfortunately, many fear going to the dentist and put off tooth fillings for as long as possible. Doing this could lead to further complications. 

While going to the dentist seems scary, it doesn’t have to be! Read this guide on what you can expect from dental IV sedation today. 

What Is Dental IV Sedation?

It’s a form of sedation that helps you feel relaxed during dental procedures. However, you’ll be less aware of your surroundings, and it doesn’t put you to sleep. The IV sedation process involves placing the needle through a vein instead of a pill or inhalation. 

IV Sedation Benefits

Dentists can monitor your vitals and adjust the dosage as necessary. You’ll be able to relax during the process. Dentists can complete multiple procedures in only one appointment. 

You’ll feel little to no pain during the procedure, and the IV works fast. When you’re fully aware, you won’t even remember the procedure. It also has a quicker recovery compared to oral sedation. 

How IV Sedation Is Administered

A thin needle is inserted into the vein near the skin’s surface. It’s most common in the back of the hand or arm. 

The needle will be in the vein during the entire procedure. A local anesthetic can numb the area before the needle is placed. 

Oxygen levels and your pulse will be monitored throughout. Before and after the procedure, they’ll check your blood pressure. Take the entire day off to rest after the appointment. 

How It’ll Make You Feel

You’ll feel more relaxed during the process. Complete relaxation of the body is common. You’ll have less knowledge of your surroundings. 

You’ll still be able to breathe, nod your head, and answer questions. Anxiety and fear will decrease. 

Afterward, expect to feel drowsy for a couple of hours. Have someone drive you home or wait for the effects to diminish before driving home. 

Is IV Sedation Right for Me?

IV sedation is an excellent option, especially if you’re nervous at dental offices. It’s a common option if you’re going to receive implant placement, root canals, or extractions. If you have dental anxiety, you might receive it for multiple dental procedures. 

Speak with your dental office to see if sedation dentistry is right for you. Go over all current conditions and medications.

The good news is that it can take effect within 3-5 minutes. The medication is given a little bit at a time. 

It’s common for those with: 

  • A fear of dentists 
  • Difficulty staying still
  • A sensitive gag reflex
  • Special needs
  • And more

Will It Make Me Feel Out of Control?

You can decide on a stop signal in advance. Even with the IV line, you’ll still be able to speak and decide to stop it. There might be certain points that stopping isn’t a good idea. 

It also won’t make you feel nauseous. IV sedation won’t make you feel light-headed, either. 

IV Sedation Alternatives

If you fear needles, an IV alternative might be a better option. Midazolam can be given as a nasal spray, or in a drink.

Some will ask for a prescription. You’ll need to discuss prescriptions in advance since you’ll often pick them up at a pharmacy. 

Can I Eat and Drink Beforehand?

Each office will vary but avoid large meals and alcohol. A lighter meal is your best option, such as toast or soup, a couple of hours before your appointment. Most offices will ask that you don’t eat or drink 6-8 hours before the appointment. 

Fasting might be an option if there’s a chance of oversedation. This is more common if the dentist uses a more advanced technique. There might be other risk factors, so it’s best to speak with your dentist. 

Is It Safe?

The IV sedation process tends to be very safe as long as a specially-trained dentist performs it. If you experience severe drowsiness, there’s a medication that could reverse it. 

Follow all instructions the office gives you before, during, and after the procedure. Avoid any strenuous activity afterward. Avoid making life decisions, operating heavy machinery, drinking, or taking unapproved medications. 

Why It Might Not Be Right for You

Speak with your dentist to see if you’re a candidate. It might not be right for you if you have glaucoma, are drunk, have an allergy to benzodiazepines, and more. It might not be right for you if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Those with high blood pressure or who are overweight might not be candidates. If you’ve taken benzodiazepines, your tolerance might be high. It’s best to speak with a dentist to see if it’ll work for you. 

All About Dental IV Sedation

This guide provides a breakdown of what to expect during dental IV sedation. Speak with your dentist to see if it’s an option for you. 

Are you ready to start with a highly-skilled IV sedation dentist in Union? Then send us a message today! We provide quality dental care to the residents of Union, Florence, and Walton, KY.

We offer multiple types of sedation dentistry to decrease anxiety. We’re committed to making your next dental visit stress-free. 

Patient forms are conveniently located right on the website. We’re open Monday-Friday. If you have any questions, we’re happy to help!

We have various options if you’d rather have another form of sedation. From deep to mild sedation, you’ll have options to discuss with your dentist.