Does IV Sedation Put You Completely to Sleep?

When you go to your local dentist’s office, the procedures you’re going for often don’t require sedation.  After all, there’s not much pain when a dentist is examining your teeth, or when they’re polishing them.  However, sometimes you have to treat something a bit more tender.  Something like a cavity, or a dental abscess, or a root canal.  Sometimes, your dentist will be working on something that is likely to be more painful, and when that happens, you are going to find that sedation is a great thing for helping you get through the procedure.

What is IV Sedation?

IV sedation is a method of delivering sedatives to your bloodstream intravenously. It is different than an oral sedative or nitrous oxide (sometimes known as ‘laughing gas’), in that it tends to have a much more powerful impact on you.  It is different than local anesthesia, which usually numbs the area that the dentist will work on, in that it lessens the sensation you will experience as a whole.

IV sedation is not appropriate for every situation.  If you’re just getting a filling for a cavity, you will probably be better off with something like local anesthesia.  When you move into more intense work, general anesthesia via IV becomes more and more necessary.

Does IV Sedation Put You Completely To Sleep?

Depending on the procedure, the patient, and the dentist, IV sedation can operate in a variety of ways.  The two most common are a twilight sleep and a deep sleep, but your dentist can utilize IV sedation to put you in varying stages of consciousness as is appropriate for your needs.

Twilight sleep refers to a state where you may be aware, at least somewhat, of your surroundings, what’s going on, and what is being said.  However, you will be much less aware than you would normally be, and you may feel a bit distant from everything while under sedation.  After the procedure concludes, you may not remember much of it.

On the other hand, IV sedation can also put you into a deep sleep.  If you have a lot of anxiety concerning dental procedures, or if the procedure is going to be exceedingly intricate or in a sensitive area, this may be the best option for you.  With proper IV sedation, you will sleep through the entire procedure and remember none of it.

What kind of sedation is best for you is a decision that you need to make with your dentist, so seeking their advice is key.

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