At Designer Smiles, we are continually working to improve our ability to care for our patients. We also care about reaching those who are not our patients yet.
We know that many people avoid going to the dentist due to extreme anxiety or fear about dental work. In order to provide excellent dental care to those unreached people, we began performing IV sedation in our office in 2018.
What is IV Sedation?
IV sedation, short for intravenous sedation, is a type of conscious sedation that reduces your awareness of events for a set period of time. We call it “conscious” sedation because your body still functions on its own, just as it does when you are asleep. You still breathe on your own and know when you need to use the restroom, etc . . . Almost everyone sleeps through IV sedation, but even those who do not experience such a relaxed state that they do not remember the dental procedure at all.
What are the Advantages of IV Sedation?
There are many advantages of IV sedation, and our patients who have already experienced it will vouch for it!
No Memory of the Dental Treatment
Obviously, the most prominent advantage of IV sedation for dental treatment is that you do not remember that treatment. Many people fear various aspects of the dental appointment: i.e. the local anesthetic injection, the sound of the drill, the sensation of too much stuff in your mouth, potential gagging. With IV sedation, you have little to no awareness of those things when they occur and no memory of them afterward. For someone with dental phobia, this is a HUGE benefit. Imagine not knowing that you are getting an injection or having no memory of needles at all! IV sedation can provide such a relief from dental anxiety by removing the sensation of the things that make you anxious!
Have a Large Amount of Work Performed in One Visit
For patients who need a lot of dental work, the idea of getting it all done can be intimidating. You have the choice to break it up into multiple appointments, but that carries the disadvantage of missing more time at work and spending more time in the dental office. You could have it all done at one time, but that can be exhausting and uncomfortable if you are awake. With IV sedation, you can have a large amount of dental work performed in one visit while you sleep!
IV sedation keeps you calm and still for as long as the dentist needs in order to get your necessary treatment done. The dentist is actually able to work more efficiently on a sedated patient.
Complete Comfort Throughout Dental Visit
The mechanism of IV sedation places the sedative medication directly into your bloodstream. This makes it possible to adjust the level of sedation at any point in the procedure. One of the disadvantages of sedation with an oral medication is that it can wear off too soon. Our experienced cosmetic dentist, Dr. Ann, constantly monitors your level of sedation and adjusts the dosage of medication accordingly to keep you comfortable throughout the entire visit.
Safer than Oral Sedation
Most people misunderstand this advantage. It just doesn’t seem like an injected medication would be safer than a pill, but it is!
Oral medication is unpredictable because of the way it is metabolized by the body. Each person metabolizes medications differently, so the doctor is unable to determine and control the exact amount of sedative in the bloodstream with oral sedation. With IV sedation, because the medication goes directly into the bloodstream, the doctor maintains complete control of the dosage of sedative flowing through your veins and is able to adjust as needed.
Who Should Opt for IV Sedation?
We know most everyone would love to sleep through their dental work. No one actually enjoys dental treatment. However, there are some people who should opt for IV sedation.
Severe Dental Phobia
For patients who have extreme anxiety or fear of the dentist, IV sedation may be the only way they can receive the proper dental care they need. These are the people who have not set foot in a dental office for many years due to their fear. Knowing they can sleep through their dental work could be the motivation they need to resume important dental care.
Patients with Special Needs
Some patients with mental of physical disabilities are unable to tolerate many dental procedures because they cannot sit calmly while unfamiliar things are happening around them. These people would benefit from IV sedation in order to get necessary dental treatment done in a way that does not create a bad experience and lead to an increased dental anxiety.
The Busy Person who Needs a Lot of Dental Work
We hear this all the time. Many people know they need a ton of dental work, and they are not necessarily afraid to get it done; they just do not have the time to devote to multiple dental appointments. IV sedation allows you to take just one day off work and have your entire treatment plan accomplished in that one visit. The IV sedation will keep you sleepy and pain free throughout that long visit, and you will not even remember it as being a long visit.
How Do I Sign Up for IV Sedation?
Now that this option is available at Designer Smiles, all you have to do is call to make an appointment. Dr. Ann and Dr. Lauren will complete a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth. This evaluation gives them all the information they need to diagnose your dental problems and come up with the treatment options you have to fix them. When you choose the best treatment option for you, then Johnita, our office manager, will discuss your scheduling options, your sedation options, and your financing options. If you think IV sedation is for you, just say so! We will schedule your dental work for a sedation visit, and you will be set to sleep your way through a dental appointment.