You probably know that taking care of your teeth is important. Whether you have early signs of periodontal disease or you’re missing a tooth and need restorative surgery, seeking proactive care gives you a healthier mouth.
But you may not look forward to visiting the dentist — especially if you need a more advanced dental procedure. Dental anxiety can make you want to push off essential dental work, but avoiding the dentist could set you up for more serious complications later on.
With sedation dentistry, you can have calmer nerves and get the dental care you need now. At Arcadia Perio, we specialize in anesthesia and sedation, including IV sedation. Our team, led by J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, is here to help you learn more about your options.
When to consider IV sedation for dentistry
IV sedation is a popular type of conscious sedation for dental work. It offers a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide or oral sedation, but it doesn’t make you fully unconscious like general anesthesia.
When you’re under IV sedation, you can be awake and able to respond to verbal prompts. But you are less aware of your surroundings, and your ability to feel pain is reduced.
IV sedation is a safe, effective option for many of our patients who are nervous about having dental work performed. Dr. Fuentes and Dr. Peterson have experience using IV sedation for patients undergoing procedures like:
If you need an advanced dental procedure (or more than one) and you’re worried about sitting in the dentist’s chair, it’s time to learn more about IV sedation.
Are you a candidate for IV sedation?
If dental anxiety is keeping you from getting the dental care you need, IV sedation could be an option for you. We often recommend IV sedation for people who:
- Avoid dental work due to anxiety
- Are too anxious to sit still in the dental chair
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
- Have a low tolerance for pain
- Need extensive dental work
We review your medical history to determine if IV sedation is a safe option for you. In general, IV sedation is safe for people who are in good health. We may not recommend IV sedation if you’re older, obese, or have certain preexisting health conditions.
What to expect with IV sedation
We work with adult patients of all ages who have dental anxiety. If we recommend IV sedation for you, we give you specific instructions so you know what to expect on the day of your procedure.
Our team settles you into the dental chair, and then we administer medication through an IV in your hand or arm. Because the medication enters your bloodstream directly, you start to feel the effects quickly.
You may feel sleepy or drowsy. Some patients report feeling a floating sensation. We can rouse you at any time, but it’s likely that you’ll have significant gaps in your memory due to the sedation.
As long as you’re receiving the sedative medication, we monitor your vital signs. We adjust your dosage as needed during your procedure to ensure you remain comfortable and relaxed.
After the procedure is over, we remove the IV, and the medication effects begin wearing off. You will feel drowsy and will need someone to drive you home. Plan to rest for the following 24 hours or so, and follow your recovery instructions.
Face the dentist without fear. Contact our team to find out if IV sedation is a good option for you. Call our Arcadia, California, office at 626-662-1084 or book an appointment online now.