Feel More Relaxed during Long Dental Procedures with IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation allows patients to receive the dental treatment they need without feeling uncomfortable or anxious. Dr. Steven M. Balloch staffs experienced anesthesiologists at his dental practice to administer IV sedation so that you can rest assured your treatment at our Hartford, CT, practice will be comfortable and stress-free. IV sedation is typically reserved for longer, more extensive dental procedures, such as dental implant surgery or wisdom tooth extraction. It is also a good option for patients who suffer from moderate to severe dental anxiety or phobia. 

How is IV Sedation Different?

A red haired woman smiling and relaxing prior to her dental procedure.There are several different forms of sedation used in dentistry. One of the most common is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This inhaled sedation method helps patients relax and feel comfortable, but they are still conscious and aware of their surroundings. Inhaled sedation is not ideal for patients undergoing more extensive procedures or for those who are especially nervous or anxious.

You will feel deeply relaxed, and while you may feel sleepy, IV sedation does not put you to sleep.

Another common sedation method is oral conscious sedation. This method utilizes prescription-strength sedatives. Patients can take these pills the evening before a procedure, or half an hour beforehand. The sedatives are a common and simple method of sedation dentistry, and provide an amnesic effect. 

IV sedation is quite different from inhaled and oral conscious sedation. With IV sedation, a certified anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia directly into the vein. This form of sedation makes you unaware of the dental procedure going on and has an amnesic after-effect. When you are roused from IV sedation, you will likely feel rested, with no memory of the dental procedure that took place.

How is IV Sedation Administered?

Dr. Balloch employs only certified dental anesthesiologists for the administration of IV sedation. Prior to your procedure, the anesthesiologist will locate a vein in your arm or hand. After cleaning the site, a small needle will be inserted into the vein, and then removed, leaving in place the tube to administer the sedation. The anesthesiologist monitors you throughout the entire procedure to ensure maximum safety.

What to Expect Under IV Sedation

During treatment, you are still conscious and can respond to questions. You will feel deeply relaxed, and while you may feel sleepy, IV sedation does not put you to sleep. When the sedation wears off, you will have little to no memory of the procedure. Since it can take one hour or more for the sedation to fully wear off, you will need another adult to drive you home after your procedure.

Risks and Benefits of IV Sedation

When under the care of a skilled dentist and anesthesiologist, IV sedation is safe for most patients. If you are pregnant, have glaucoma, allergies to certain medications, or a depression of your central nervous system, IV sedation is not appropriate for you.

IV sedation offers many benefits to patients. One of the primary benefits is the amnesic effect you will experience. This makes it ideal for patients undergoing extensive dental work and for those with serious dental fears or phobias.

Want to Learn More?

If you suffer from a dental phobia or need extensive surgery or dental work, contact our office today to inquire about IV sedation. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Balloch to discuss your dental fears or your procedure in more detail.