IV Sedation: A Game Changer for Dental Anxiety

Whether you have a case of dentophobia (aka odontophobia) or are feeling anxious about an upcoming dental procedure, you are not alone. Fear of the dentist and dental anxiety are quite common. However, thanks to sedation dentistry, you do not have to suffer the emotional pain or stress involved with dental anxiety. Instead, safely administered sedative treatments can help you stay calm and relaxed at the dentist's office. 

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a type of dentistry that uses different forms of sedative medications to help patients access the dental care and treatments they need to stay healthy. It can be used to help patients with dental anxiety or to ease the process of receiving more invasive, lengthy, or complex treatments. 

Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry

Dentists use various methods of sedation to help patients relax and overcome their dental anxiety. The type of sedation dentistry recommended varies based on the patient, his or her unique needs, and the extent, length, and nature of the upcoming treatment. 

These different types of sedation dentistry include:

  • Nitrous Oxide - Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is administered using a mask or nosepiece. The patient inhales the gas, and this induces a calming effect within minutes. With nitrous oxide, a patient remains conscious throughout the appointment but will feel relaxed. Nitrous oxide flushes from the body quickly which makes it possible for patients to drive themselves home. 
  • Oral Conscious Sedation - Oral conscious sedation is achieved using a prescription sedative that is usually in the form of a pill, administered a half hour before treatment. It is administered orally about an hour before dental treatment. With this form of sedation, patients remain conscious and very relaxed. Some patients might fall asleep during their treatments. Oral conscious sedation temporarily alters motor function and memory. As a result, patients require transportation to and from these appointments and might have no recollection or only fuzzy memories of their exams. 
  • Intravenous (IV) Sedation - This is the deepest method of conscious sedation available for dental treatments. With this method of sedation, sedative medications are administered intravenously through a needle and IV line. We work with a team of well trained nurse anesthesiologists that have decades of experience so your experience is as smooth as possibleWith this form of sedation, patients' vital signs are monitored throughout so that medications and dosages can be adjusted at all times for safety and to achieve an optimal level of sedation. 

The Benefits of IV Sedation

IV sedation is becoming one of the more popular methods of sedation dentistry because it offers several benefits and advantages including:

  • It takes effect quickly.
  • It achieves a deep state of relaxation.
  • It's safer than general anesthesia.
  • It helps patients with dental anxiety access dental care.

When Is IV Sedation Recommended?

With IV sedation, patients are conscious but often are so relaxed that they fall asleep during their dental treatments. Additionally, patients do not remember dental treatments received with IV sedation. 

This form of sedation is ideal for patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety that prevents them from receiving the treatments they need to stay healthy. It is also recommended for lengthy, more complex, or more invasive dental treatments that can be uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking for patients. 

With IV sedation, patients are able to remain completely relaxed throughout their care and experience no pain or discomfort. Additionally, patients have no memory of treatments performed with IV sedation, eliminating memories that might prompt future stress or anxiety. 

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

Our dentist performs thorough due diligence before administering any form of sedative to patients. We carefully review each patient's medical history, current medical concerns, and a comprehensive list of medications and supplements taken by the patient. IV sedation is a very safe form of dental sedation that uses high-quality, time-tested sedative medications in a closely supervised medical environment. As with all medical treatments, adverse reactions are a possibility. They are, however, extremely rare. 

Learn More About the Dental Sedation Options With Our Dentist in Charleston

If you've been searching for a "dentist near me" to help you overcome your dental anxiety to relax in the dental chair, we encourage you to look no further than our dentist in Mt. Pleasant. Serving patients from all over the greater Charleston area, Dr. Kusek specializes in helping patients feel safe and relaxed during their dental exams and treatments. To learn more about our gentle, calming approach to care and the types of dental sedation available to our patients, we welcome you to contact CHS Dental. 

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