IV Sedation

All patients will be given a local anesthetic to numb the surgical area prior to surgery. This ensures that the patients will not be uncomfortable or feel pain during the procedure, but they will be awake and aware. Many patients choose to have their surgery with only local anesthetic. Other patients are looking for additional options, including I.V. sedation, for their comfort during the procedure. Patients who choose to have their surgery with IV sedation will be under a "twilight state", in which the patient is relaxed and sleepy. Generally, twilight anesthesia causes the patient to forget the surgery and the time right after it. Patients who have IV sedation will need a responsible adult to accompany them to the procedure and stay with them at home for the remainder of the surgery day.

Many patients are familiar with an oral sedation (pill) and have questions as to why we do not commonly offer that type of sedation instead of intravenous sedation (IV). The answer is simple. IV sedation is much safer for the patient than oral sedation. Here are a few reasons why:

  • During IV sedation, medications can be administered and adjusted over the course of a procedure to keep the patient comfortable at all times. This is not possible with oral sedation medications, and as a result, some patients get dangerously sedated, while others report they do not feel any sedative effects.
  • It takes much longer to achieve sedation through oral medications (30 minutes to 2 hours) versus IV sedation (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  • The sedation effects of an oral medication can last much longer than the dental procedure itself, and therefore, requires a much longer monitored recovery period. The sedation effects from IV medications are much shorter-acting and much more predictable. Also, most of the medications used during IV sedation are reversible instantaneously in the event of an emergency.
  • IV sedation uses a combination of drugs, which allows for lower doses of the medications and the ability to give varied doses of each, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

*Dr. Chisdak is a licensed medical doctor (M.D.). Our doctors and our registered nurse are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. All of our clinical staff members, including assistants, are routinely trained on emergency medical procedures and CPR. During IV sedation all patients are monitored in a similar fashion to a hospital operating room.

If surgery includes IV sedation, there are mandatory and life-threatening precautions that each patient must be aware of and follow prior to arriving at our office.

These precautions include:

  • The patient cannot have anything to eat or drink (including water) for 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • Routine oral medications can be taken with a minimal sip of water, unless other instruction has been given.
  • No smoking is recommended for at least 12 hours before surgery. It is ideal to cut down or to stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, drive the patient home, and remain with the patient for the duration of the surgery day.
  • We ask that the patient wears loose-fitting clothing with short-sleeves, and low-heeled shoes.
  • The office should be notified prior to the appointment if there is any illness such as a cold, sore throat, or upset stomach.
  • The patient cannot drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
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