IV sedation (also known as Intravenous Conscious Sedation) is when a drug is administered into the blood system during dental treatment through an IV inserted through a vein in the body.

While the terms “sleep dentistry” and “twilight sleep” are often used when talking about IV sedation dentistry, it does not mean that the patient is asleep while dental work is being administered. Deep sedation, however, refers to an IV that puts the patient to sleep while dental procedures are being performed.

Before the Procedure

Before beginning your IV sedation, talk with your dentist about any contraindications that may apply to you and affect your body during the sedation. Some of these may include pregnancy, known allergy to benzodiazepines, alcohol intoxication, CNS depression, and some instances of glaucoma. Be sure to talk with your sedation dentist, Dr. Shawn Van de Vyver, about any medical conditions that may be of a concern with IV sedation.

During the Procedure

During your IV sedation, you will be awake and conscious, but you may not remember a whole lot about what went on, specifically for these two reasons:

1. IV sedation induces a state of deep relaxation. It allows the patient to not be bothered by what’s going so the body can completely respond to treatment.
2. The drugs used for the IV sedation induce a state of memory loss during the time the drug is in the body. Because of this, the time will appear to be passing very quickly to the patient and he or she will not be able to remember much of what happened once the drug is out of their system after the procedure is finished.

After the Procedure

After the procedure is complete, it is important you rest the remainder of the day and have an adult stay with you until you are fully alert. If you experience nausea, try lying down for a while and drinking a glass of coke and take any medications prescribed by your dentist.

IV sedation dentistry is perfectly safe and reliable when performed under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist. Statistically speaking, it is proven to be even safer than local anesthetic working on its own.

Talk to Dr. Van de Vyver for more information about IV sedation to see if it is a good fit for you during your next dental procedure.