IV Sedation: What to Expect (Serene Dental)

Everyone knows the “twice a year” trip to the dentist expectation. But not everyone is able to get regular checkups or go for cleanings like the experts recommend. When that happens, small problems can turn into big ones that can’t be ignored. Or, even if you go to the dentist like you’re “supposed to,” trauma can happen, causing major dental issues that require IV sedation to fix.

Whatever the reason is, your dentist told you that you’re going to need a procedure and IV sedation is the best possible way to undergo it. If you’re like most people, the thought of undergoing a surgical procedure mixed with an IV and sedation is a little concerning. But at Serene Dental, we make the process streamlined and completely clear. You’ll know what to expect every step of the way.

Before you stress over your appointment, read this guide. It will help you to understand what you’re getting into with your upcoming IV sedation experience. Your questions will be answered and you might see it’s not as complicated as you think!

Sedation Dentistry Facts

It’s common to be concerned any time you or a loved one is faced with undergoing sedation. Once you learn the science and knock out some of the myths, it becomes much easier to focus on the end result: fixing your medical issue!

Sedation has become a seamless part of healthcare in almost every field of medicine. In dentistry, it’s used around the world in almost every office regularly. IV sedation and wisdom teeth extraction are often used together, for instance.

In fact, IV sedation is so safe and effective that it has been approved by the American Dental Association. As long as the physician treating the patient has a certification in this method from an accredited school, it’s a normal part of dental care. At Serene Dental, we stay on top of the most recent changes and innovations in dentistry all year long.

One of the most common concerns with this type of treatment is that you’re not awake during the procedure. The fact is that IV sedation is also called “conscious sedation.” The intent of the medication you receive, via an IV, is to relax you. You’re still alert and awake, but you are less concerned with what’s going on. You can still follow instructions and answer questions, breathe on your own, and communicate concerns.

IV sedation is a preferred method of sedation for dentists because it helps get rid of patient anxiety fast. Some sedatives can take up to half an hour before they start to work. IV sedation, on the other hand, works immediately because it goes straight into your bloodstream.

What You Should Know About IV Sedation

Many people have questions such as, “What does IV sedation feel like?” Because the effects of the sedation kick in so quickly, you really don’t feel much after the initial IV is placed. There are lots of advantages to this, but most people say the only thing they feel is an occasional mild discomfort throughout the procedure.

If you’re worried about IV sedation after effects, these are concerns we can help relieve you of, too. Throughout your procedure, your vitals are monitored and we will continually check to make sure you’re not feeling any pain. We can adjust the dosage if you start feeling more than the mild discomfort. 

Because we’re monitoring you throughout the procedure, it’s easier to limit any after effects from the anesthesia. The sedation also lasts longer than other options. For that reason, we can often get what would have otherwise taken multiple appointments done in one visit.

The after-effects of the anesthesia are minimal. Instead, you’ll be dealing with the after-effects of the procedure itself, such as the tooth removal. However, your dentist will help you to understand what you can expect from your treatment and how to take care of it on an individual basis.

How to Get Ready for Your IV Sedation Appointment

There is a little bit of preparation that goes into getting ready for a dental appointment where you’re going to undergo IV sedation. To begin with, you’ll need to find someone to pick you up after your procedure just in case your anesthesia hasn’t fully worn off by the time you’re ready to leave.

As with any surgical procedure, you’ll also have some instructions to follow as far as what you can and can’t eat before and after your appointment and how long you should fast for. 

Try to wear clothes you’re comfortable in and that you can move around in easily, especially since you may not feel like doing much after your procedure. Plan on taking the rest of the day off if you’re having an extraction or something similar performed. You’ll want to relax and take it easy afterward.

If your dentist advised you to stop taking a certain medication, be sure you have done so. Let him or her know if anything has changed since your last appointment before the IV is placed. This might include a new medication, an accident, or a medical issue that was diagnosed. 

Chances are, you’re going to be prescribed a medication for after your procedure. It may be a pain med or an antibiotic. If you weren’t able to get the prescription picked up before your appointment, that’s okay. Just try to find someone who can pick them up for you as soon as possible and get them to you when you get home.

It’s also essential that you allow your body time to recover without engaging in any difficult activities, exertion, or heavy lifting. Stay away from alcoholic beverages, unapproved medications, and foods that your dentist puts on the do-not-eat list. Smoking is also usually prohibited, especially after an extraction.

Your appointment doesn’t end when you go home. Your dentist wants to monitor your recovery, too, so if you start to notice anything unusual or have any complications, let them know right away.

When You Need Dental Care, Serene Dental is the Place to Go

Your dental health is an important part of your overall wellness. Because it’s so important, you should only trust the professionals who know their stuff and care about you as an individual. If you need dental care, the experts at Serene Dental are here to help you.

Our staff and trained professionals are experienced in everything from handling your insurance questions to fixing your dental health issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and you can feel confident that you’ll be getting the best care possible.