For the patient who fears the required treatment, I.V. sedation offers a way to have required dental treatment done in a non-threatening manner. Other patients who benefit are those who need surgical procedures or a very large amount of work to be done at one time.
For these situations, we use intravenous sedation because it is a very conservative and appropriate method of controlled patient management during dental procedures. Sedation is the calming of a nervous, apprehensive individual through the use of drugs, without inducing the loss of consciousness. This highly effective technique requires the introduction of drugs directly into a vein, and it has the advantage of giving maximum control to the treating doctor as well as giving comfort to the patient.
The patient is not placed under general anesthesia, for the patient’s protective reflexes are still in place, including the ability for the patient to maintain his or her own airway. Appropriate monitoring equipment, such as a pulse oximeter and supplemental oxygen, will be used during the I.V. sedation appointment. The use of intravenous sedation has been a very effective tool in our practice for outpatient dental care in many different situations.