at waterfront dental
At Waterfront Dental, we have a variety of sedation options to treat patients with different levels of anxiety or phobia. With these options, you’ll able to stay calm and stress-free throughout extensive treatment. Give us a call today to learn more!
Fighting Dental Anxiety
What is IV Sedation Dentistry?
IV sedation dentistry is a method of sedation that uses strong anti-anxiety medications that are delivered intravenously using a needle and an IV bag. It’s a method of deep, relaxing sedation that is ideal if you are having a long and complex dental procedure, or if you have serious dental anxiety and are afraid of an upcoming oral surgery at Waterfront Dental in Baltimore.
When you receive IV sedation, you will immediately begin to feel very sleepy and groggy. As the drugs begin to take effect, you will fall asleep, and you will likely remember very little about what happens throughout the treatment.
However, it’s important to note that IV sedation is not the same as general anesthesia, which renders you completely unconscious and requires the use of a breathing machine to ensure you breathe properly. With IV sedation, you will continue to breathe normally on your own. It is still possible to rouse you and you can still respond to verbal commands and light physical touch.
If you do receive IV sedation, it’s likely that you will experience some after-effects like confusion, dizziness, headache, and nausea. Crying is also a common side effect of IV sedation. You will not be able to drive yourself home after your procedure, so we will require you to come into Waterfront Dental with a relative or friend who can get you home and take care of your needs for the rest of the day.
Relax at Your Appointment
Am I a Good Candidate for IV Sedation Dentistry?
It’s likely that you are a good candidate for IV sedation dentistry as long as you are healthy and do not have any history of serious drug abuse or major drug allergies.
Some medical conditions like clinical obesity or sleep apnea may affect your candidacy for IV sedation dentistry. Blocked nasal passages (from sinusitis, colds, etc.) can also interfere with proper breathing while sedated.
Before you can be sedated, Dr. Merguerian will want to discuss your medical history, allergies, and other details with you to ensure that you are a good candidate for IV sedation.
Understand the Procedure
How Long Does the Sedation Last?
The effects of IV sedation usually last about 6 hours. The most intense effects tend to be experienced within the first 1-2 hours of sedation. After this, the drugs will begin to be processed by your body, and the effects of sedation will fade over time.
You will not be able to go back to your day-to-day routine or go back to work after being sedated, however. Sedation can impair your decision-making capabilities and motor skills for 6 hours or longer. After your appointment at Waterfront Dental has been completed, you’ll need someone to take you home.
It’s best to take it easy for the rest of the day. Avoid strenuous physical activity, and make sure you drink plenty of water. You may experience some side effects like nausea or, more rarely, vomiting. This is normal, and these side effects will pass as the sedative continues to leave your bloodstream.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Sedation Dentistry
Q: Can I Drive After Dental Sedation?
A: This depends on the type of sedation you have opted for. At Waterfront Dental, we offer IV sedation.
For IV sedation, you will not be able to drive as well as several other activities (like strenuous exercise, drinking alcohol, or signing legal documents), you will need to wait for 24 hours.
This is how long these sedatives can stay in the body. You may still feel groggy and lethargic following your appointment and we suggest that you go home to get some rest and avoid much of any activity for the rest of the day. The best thing to do is to sleep it off.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as monitor you for the rest of the day if you are receiving these deeper forms of sedation. This is ultimately for your and others’ safety.
Q: Can Children Receive Dental Sedation?
A: Absolutely! Children make great candidates for dental sedation because fearing the dentist is a common thing to experience as a child.
Some children have more severe cases of dental anxiety or phobias and dental sedation helps to relax them, reduces their stress and anxiety, and makes the appointment run a lot smoother and more efficiently so the dentist can spend more time working on the child’s teeth and less time trying to get them to sit still or understand that there’s nothing to worry about.
Children can be candidates for all forms of sedation but this is on an individual basis, as the deeper the form of sedation is, the greater the associated risks are. In general, dental sedation is extremely safe when administered by a qualified professional dentist.
However, we will first need to review your child’s medical history to determine which type of sedation is appropriate for them. While a deeper type of sedation like IV sedation may be preferable for a more invasive procedure like oral surgery, it’s not always necessary.
Q: What Sedation Options Do You Offer For Dental Anxiety?
A: If your child has dental anxiety as well as special needs or if they are undergoing a complex or invasive procedure, we may recommend IV sedation, which will make your child so tired that they may sleep during the procedure.
With all of these sedatives, your child will remain fully conscious and aware of their surroundings but is unlikely to remember what happened during the appointment.
Q: Do you offer IV sedation?
A: Yes! Patients who suffer from high levels of anxiety or dental phobia, or patients who will be receiving extensive treatment may benefit from IV sedation. If you receive IV sedation, you will be monitored closely throughout your treatment with a state-of-the-art monitoring system. This allows us to see any changes as they occur and safely reverse any sedation if necessary.
Q: What alternative therapies do you offer?
A: We want to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable in our office, so we offer alternative therapies to help alleviate anxiety and foster a calm environment. Contact us today to learn more about our alternative therapies and see which option will work best for you.