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Sedation Oral & IV

For many patients the thought of going to the dentist can be daunting, prompting both anxiety and fear. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several options to help ease these fears and provide a comfortable and pain free experience. Two of the most common options currently used are intravenous (IV) sedation and oral sedation. But what do we know about these sedation options, and what are their benefits, risks, and how do they work?

What is intravenous sedation?

IV sedation is a type of sedation that is administered through an IV line and can allow for both consciousness and unconsciousness during procedures. In dentistry, IV sedation is almost always conscious. The way it works is simple: a sedative medication is delivered directly into the bloodstream, which allows for a quick and controlled onset of sedation. Have you ever seen a movie where a doctor asks her patient to count down to zero from ten? They were administering IV sedation. Unlike the movies though, this kind of sedation is typically administered by a licensed periodontist or anesthesiologist who has received specialized training in sedation periodontistry.

What are the benefits of IV sedation?

There are plenty of benefits to using IV sedation in a periodontist or orthodontic setting:
Increased relaxation – IV sedation can help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during their dental procedure.
Reduced anxiety – IV sedation can help reduce anxiety and fear related to dental treatment by allowing patients to know they are in the care of licensed professionals.
Improved pain management- IV sedation can help reduce pain during and after dental procedures.
Quicker recovery time – IV sedation typically has a quicker recovery time compared to general anesthesia.

Are there risks to using IV sedation?

Like any medical procedure, IV sedation does carry some risk. While rare, the possible negative impacts of using IV sedation should be weighed and discussed with your periodontist. One of the potential risks is respiratory depression, which makes breathing more difficult. Another uncommon but possible downside to this method of sedation is Hypotension. Hypotension is a drop in blood pressure which can lead to dizziness or fainting. Finally, some patients will experience allergic reactions

What is oral sedation?

Unlike IV sedation, oral sedation is a type of sedation that is administered through a pill or liquid medication swallowed before a procedure. Compared to IV sedation, oral sedation typically takes longer to take effect and requires a higher dosage to achieve the desired level of sedation. Oral sedation is administered by a periodontist, trained staff member, or taken by the patient before the procedure.

What are the benefits to using oral sedation?

Oral sedation offers several benefits for patients, including:
Relaxation – Oral sedation can help patients feel relaxed during their dental procedure.
Reduced anxiety – For those who dislike IVs, oral sedation can help reduce anxiety and fear related to dental treatment.
No needles – The biggest benefit to using oral sedation is that it does not require the use of needles.

Are there risks to taking oral sedatives?

Like all sedation, oral sedation carries some risk and patients should always consult their medical professional before taking them. One of the most common risks to oral sedation is taking too much. Over-sedation can occur if a patient is not carefully monitored during the procedure. Additionally, oral sedation can delay recovery time compared to IV sedation. Finally, patients might experience an allergic reaction to some kinds of oral sedatives.

What kind of sedation is right for me?

While IV sedation and oral sedation are the most common sedation options available, Talk to your periodontist about what best suits your procedure. For more information on sedation options for your next procedure, contact Gainesville Periodontics. We are happy to help assist you in learning more about the safest, affordable, pain-free options available.

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