IV sedation is when a sedative is injected directly into a vein. If you are nervous about having dental treatment or you are having a procedure which may cause discomfort, intravenous (IV) sedation is an effective and safe treatment.
Why do I need IV sedation?
It is an ideal way of helping you to relax if you are nervous about dental treatment or you are having a procedure which may cause discomfort or distress.
What are the benefits?
While under IV sedation, you will feel deeply relaxed but you will still be able to understand and respond to requests from the dentist. You will be unaware of the operation and this form of treatment is ideal for patients who wish to avoid the noise and vibration of the drill.
Are there any risks?
IV sedation is extremely safe when it is supervised by a specially trained dentist.
IV sedation has four main effects:
- It will reduce your anxiety and make you feel relaxed.
- It will make you feel sleepy.
- It will make you unaware of the procedure.
- It will result in partial – or total loss of memory of the procedure.
Are there any alternatives?
- Local anaesthetic alone
- General anaesthetic
Neither of these alternatives may be suitable for you. Your dentist will let you know what will be best for you.
Do I need to prepare for IV sedation?
- Take your routine medicines at the usual times.
- Have only light meals and non-alcoholic drinks on the day of your appointment.
- Bring a responsible adult with you. This escort must be over the age of 18 and personally known to you. They must arrive and remain in the building with you. They must be able to escort you home and care for you for the rest of the day. Do not bring your children with you to your appointment.
Where will it be carried out? The treatment will be carried out in the dental surgery. Your escort can come with you into the clinic, but they may be asked to return to the waiting room while you have your treatment.
What happens during IV sedation?
An extremely thin plastic tube will be put into a vein either in one of your arms or in the back of one of your hands. A drug will then be injected which will quickly make you feel very sleepy and relaxed. Consent We must by law obtain your written consent. Staff will explain risks, benefits and alternatives before they ask you to sign a consent form. If you are unsure about any aspect of the treatment proposed, please do not hesitate to speak with a senior member of staff again. You must confirm your consent for the procedure before treatment starts. Throughout the procedure you will have a gadget clipped to your finger to measure your pulse and oxygen levels. Your blood pressure will be checked before and after the procedure. As well as IV sedation, you will be given a local anaesthetic. You will not be aware of being given the local anaesthetic because you will have it after the IV sedation. This involves an injection into the gum surrounding the area that you are having treated and it is similar to those your dentist may have given you for fillings. The injection will take a couple of minutes to numb the area and it ensures that you will feel no pain during your treatment. The length of time you will be sedated varies depending on the treatment you are having.
What happens after IV sedation?
You will need to stay in our recovery area until you are considered ready to leave. Recovery usually takes about an hour but can be longer.
Until the following day after you have had IV sedation:
- Do not travel alone – travel home with your escort, by car if possible.
- Do not drive or ride a bicycle or a motorcycle.
- Do not use machinery.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Do not return to work or sign legal documents.