Are You a Candidate for IV Sedation?
IV sedation may be a good option if you struggle with dental anxiety or dental phobia. These issues are common, but can manifest in different ways. Common symptoms of dental anxiety include:
- Racing heartbeat
- Sweating palms
- Spinning thoughts
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to sleep the night before a dental appointment
- Neglect of your routine dental visits
You may also benefit from IV sedation if you have a strong gag reflex or have difficulty sitting for long periods of time. IV sedation can also help keep you relaxed and comfortable during an extensive procedure, such as implant surgery or bone grafting. Dr. Pinnix or Dr. Betancourt will discuss your sedation options in advance, helping you choose the method that is right for you.
What to Expect with IV Sedation
If you select IV sedation, we will provide appropriate instructions before your procedure. For example, you should not eat or drink anything but water for 6 hours leading up to your appointment. Afterwards, you should not smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours. Furthermore, because it will take a while for the effects to wear off, you should arrange for a ride home from the office.
At the beginning of your appointment, Dr. Betancourt will carefully use a very small needle to deliver powerful anti-anxiety drugs directly into your blood. These medications will not need to be metabolized by your body, and will take effect very quickly. With IV sedation, you will not completely lose consciousness. Rather, you will enter a twilight sleep, in which you will be awake but not really aware of what is going on. Accordingly, you can answer questions and respond to your treatment team, but you will experience virtually no discomfort or anxiety. We will closely monitor you throughout your treatment, ensuring your comfort and safety.
Your body will not metabolize the IV medications as it would oral drugs. Therefore, your dentist can more consistently predict the results.
The Benefits of IV Sedation
At your consultation, we will explain the benefits of each type of sedation, so you can make a confident decision. The advantages of IV sedation include:
- Immediate effects: Can be especially beneficial if you have severe dental phobia, since the drugs will minimize your anxiety as quickly as possible.
- Reliable: Your body will not metabolize the IV medications as it would oral drugs. Therefore, your dentist can more consistently predict the results.
- Adjustable: Dr. Betancourt can also increase or reduce the amount of medication throughout treatment, depending on your specific needs.
- Quick recovery: Although it will take some time for the drugs to wear off, IV sedation involves a much faster recovery than oral sedation or general anesthesia.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sedation Dentistry
Who should try sedation dentistry?
Everyone is different. Most people who avoid the dentist suffer from paralyzing fear. Maybe they’ve had a traumatic past experience, while others may have a low pain tolerance or resistance to the numbing injections that most dentists use. No matter the reason, there’s no need ever to feel uncomfortable when visiting our Charlotte dental office. It’s not unusual for us to see patients who require extensive, complex treatment. But the good news is that with sedation dentistry practices, we can usually accomplish complete care in just one comfortable, anxiety free visit.
Will I be unconscious?
There are varying degrees of sedation available and after your consultation, you and our dentists will choose the one most appropriate for you.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes, sedation dentistry is very safe for those who Dr. Pinnix and Dr. Betancourt believe to be a candidate. Throughout your visit our experienced dental team will monitor your vital signs as you receive attentive care that will make you feel like you’re at a spa. The best part will come when you look in the mirror and see your healthy, happy smile.
How long will it take?
Depending on the condition of your teeth, your sedation may last from two to six hours. We only focus on you during your visit, so there will be nothing to interrupt or interfere with your treatment, which is why we can usually treat even the most serious cases in just one visit.
Do I need someone with me?
Yes, it is required that someone accompany you to and from our dentist office. Although you may feel completely refreshed when the procedure is over, you’ll still be under the effects of sedation.
How do I get started?
Our friendly staff is waiting to hear from you. First, we need to gather some information regarding your health. Then we’ll discuss your specific needs and desires. Once you’ve talked with our caring dental professionals, you will understand sedation dentistry is the best solution for your dentist office fears.