If you are considering your options for sedation dentistry, it’s important to consider IV sedation. IV sedation is a very effective form of dental sedation, capable of achieving a deeper level of sedation than is possible with oral sedation. It’s also very flexible and can be extended as necessary. But it does come with disadvantages. It’s offered by fewer dental offices, and when it’s offered it tends to be much more expensive. It also comes with greater risks.

If you are considering sedation dentistry in the Orlando area, the best way to find out which is right for you is to talk to a dentist. Please call (407) 834-6446 for an appointment with Dr. Michael L. Weinstock in Altamonte Springs.

IV Sedation patient sitting in dental office chair after dental procedure

How IV Sedation Works

In IV sedation, drugs are delivered intravenously: they are injected directly into your bloodstream. This allows them to work very quickly, and, depending on the medication used, they can wear off very quickly.

The drug or drugs used depends on the dentist, your procedure, your level of anxiety, and other factors. In general, the sedatives used are the same as are used in oral sedation, benzodiazepines. Sometimes, additional medications are added to control pain, such as opioids. Usually, local pain medication is required as well.

In IV sedation, you will achieve moderate to deep sedation. The level of sedation will be determined by the dentist after consultation with you about your preferences and risk factors.

The day of the procedure, you are asked to:

  • Have someone accompany you to your appointment, stay, and accompany you home
  • Fast for at least 8 hours prior to your procedure–drink only water
  • Not use tobacco or alcohol products at least 24 hours before and after procedure
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing that allows easy access to your arms
  • Do not wear makeup
  • Leave contacts, removable dentures, watches, and jewelry at home

You will be technically able to drive yourself to the procedure, but it’s important to have someone at the appointment with you in case of emergencies. And you will need them to accompany you home. You cannot return to work and should not attempt any dangerous activities. You should even have someone help you ascending or descending stairs.

Fasting doesn’t necessarily include your medications. You will have to talk to your doctor and dentist about what medications you can and can’t take.

Benefits of IV Sedation

IV sedation does offer some benefits over oral sedation. For example, IV sedation can be prolonged as much as necessary to keep you sedated throughout the entire procedure. And it can be stopped as soon as the procedure is over, which minimizes the amount of time you will be disabled from sedation.

IV sedation allows for deeper sedation, and can be combined with pain relieving medications as necessary.

Disadvantages of IV Sedation

IV sedation comes with more risks than oral sedation. To counter these risks, it requires additional licensing, equipment, personnel, and procedures to ensure your safety. These all add cost to the procedure, but won’t guarantee that no adverse events will occur.

Fewer dentists provide IV sedation, which might make it harder to get the procedure you want.

Although IV sedation medication can wear off more quickly than oral sedation, the effects aren’t immediate and can linger for hours, along with their associated risks.

The use of a needle to deliver medication can also be a disadvantage for anxious patients.

Which Is Right for You?

The decision about the right sedation dentistry technique for you is a complicated one. It’s important to talk to a sedation dentist about your options. To schedule a consultation, please call (407) 834-6446 for an appointment with Dr. Michael L. Weinstock.