Intravenous Conscious Sedation is a type of anesthetic. It involves giving a sedative through a plastic tube into the vein in an arm or hand. This type of conscious sedation induces a state of deep relaxation which is why it is ideal to be used to relax a nervous or anxious patient prior to a procedure. Once the patient is sedated, they will still be given a local anaesthetic injection in the gum which will numb the area being treated.
Depending on the dental procedure, the amount of anesthesia used can vary from a minimal amount, just to make the patient a little sleepy, to an amount that is able to ensure the patient is not aware of being treated at all throughout the entire treatment.
What happens to me while I am sedated?
Throughout the procedure your breathing, pulse and oxygen levels will be closely monitored. Your blood pressure will also be checked before and after the procedure. The sedative often works as temporary amnesia for many patients, so you may forget most of the visit.
How long does the sedation last?
It often takes about half an hour for the anesthesia to wear off, this is dependent on the amount you were given to begin with.
After your treatment you may still feel drowsy and lightheaded for a few hours. Because of this, we recommend that you bring someone with you to assure that you will be able to get home safely. As a precaution make sure you do not operate vehicles or any dangerous machinery for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
What will I feel when being sedated?
You will start feeling calm and maybe a little lightheaded after the sedatives enter your bloodstream. Your arms and legs may begin to feel like they are lighter or heavier, this is very normal. Shortly after this, you will soon be numb and won’t feel any pain during the treatment.
Will I feel any pain during my treatment?
After you are given your sedative, and the sedation has started, your dentist will give you an injection of local anesthetic to numb the gum area where you will be having the treatment.
In rare occasions, you may feel a slight stinging while the anesthetic is being administered but after that, the area should feel numb. If you do feel any discomfort during the procedure there will be a way for you to alert your dentist so they can administer more anesthetic if it is required.
Benefits of intravenous sedation
- There is a precise amount of sedative/anesthesia administered.
- Patients are able to come out of anesthesia quickly and comfortably.
- Sedation will help you cope with your dental treatment by reducing your anxiety, making you unaware of being treated and making you comfortable throughout.
- Even people who do not feel anxious about dental treatments choose to have sedation to help them get through lengthier or uncomfortable procedures such as tooth extractions in a safe and low-risk way.
- With an intravenous conscious sedation, you will still be awake during the procedure. This means that not only will you feel minimal discomfort, you will still be able to respond to and make requests of your dentist.