What is Intravenous (IV) Sedation?

Intravenous sedation is a method of sedation that has been in use in medicine for decades. Sedation itself, the idea of using substances to help calm a patient and keep them in a state of greater relaxation during a medical (or dental) procedure is much older than intravenous sedation alone.  In fact, historians believe that the first use of sedation was in 3800 BCE, and that ancient man was in the habit of utilizing substances such as opium for sedative purposes.

Intravenous sedation is the practice of putting a sedative into the body via the bloodstream.  Instead of being something that the patient smokes or inhales, they simple have an IV line run into their arm, just the same as they would in any hospital, and a sedative is put into their body this way.

What Is the Use of IV Sedation In Dentistry?

So, what is the use of IV sedation in dentistry?  It’s true, when most people think of IV sedation, they think of people in the hospital, undergoing surgeries, medical procedures that are complex and that require a patient to be completely still.  Very few people think of sedation and dentistry in the same sentence.

And it’s true.  Not every procedure your dentist will do requires sedation.  There are many procedures your dentist can do (like filling a cavity, for an easy example) that will require nothing more than some local anesthetic, if they even require that.

So who needs IV sedation, and when does it become necessary?  Well, IV sedation is useful in that it alters the consciousness of the person that is undergoing the procedure.  This can include effects such as:

Both of these side effects are fantastic for working on dental patients.  To begin with, distorting the sensation of time means that while a patient may be asleep or nearly asleep, they won’t experience the hour(s) of dental work.  They can just lie comfortably in the chair as the dentist goes about their work.

Many people suffer from anxiety when it comes to dental work, and for them, moderate sedation or more is a great way to help them to get through a dental procedure with ease.  It lessens the pain they feel, it lessens their anxiety, and it can keep the patient calm throughout the entire process of whatever needs doing.

If you’re looking for more information on IV sedation and its uses in dentistry, be sure to talk to your local sedation dentist.  They will have a wealth of information on how it may be useful to you in particular, and will be more than happy to discuss ways it can help make your dental procedures more comfortable.

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