What Does IV Sedation Feel Like

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Resources

Has your dentist suggested Intravenous (IV) sedation? Has a friend talked to you about ‘sleep dentistry’ and interested you in discovering more? Either way, you’re in the right place. So, what is IV sedation?

If you’re anxious about medical or dental procedures, have a procedure coming up that worries you, or suffer from an overactive gag reflex, IV sedation might be a good option for you. Although it is sometimes referred to as twilight sedation, the whole point of IV sedation is to keep you relaxed and sleepy but responsive to verbal commands during treatment. This type of sedation can often be called ‘sleep sedation’ or ‘sleep dentistry’. When asked ‘what does IV sedation feel like? Someone who has had dentistry carried out this way may tell you they slept the entire time or remember only small parts of their visit. That’s because sedation can affect memory; patients often feel they were in a dream or were very relaxed but were communicating with their dental practitioner the whole time. Then they often forgot everything apart from the dream state. One of the benefits of IV sedation is that it can be used when general anaesthesia is not an option. 

Who Might Need IV Sedation?

You may be an excellent candidate for IV sedation if:

  • The dental procedure you have coming up is complex or will take a long time.
  • You experience a lot of stress or fear around visiting the dentist and dental procedures.
  • You have an overactive gag reflex.
  • A particular dental procedure causes you anxiety; for many people, this is tooth removal.
  • You have a fear of needles or other worries related to dental treatment.

Only specially qualified dentists, doctors, or anaesthesiologists can administer IV sedation. However, several of our dentists at Beaches Dental Mona Vale offer treatment under IV sedation, with the IV sedation being performed by one of our qualified and experienced Sedationists. Call to find out more, or ask your dentist for more information at your next appointment. You can also ask your dentist about what IV sedation feels like in further detail and how their other patients feel about their experiences.

What Happens During the IV Sedation Procedure?

During the IV sedation procedure, your dental practitioner will ensure you’re comfortable and feel safe first and foremost. After that, they’ll talk you through what they’re going to do during the appointment. Next, your sedationists will monitor your vital signs during your procedure. To do this, they attach you to machines that measure your blood pressure and heart rate before any dental work is started.  

The sedationists will carefully insert an IV into the back of your hand or arm and begin to administer the medication that will make you feel comfortable via sedation. The makeup of the IV will vary based on your age, health, availability of drugs, and the exact dental procedure you have taken care of. Midazolam is one of the most commonly used drugs for IV sedation. 

IV sedation is most often used for procedures including multiple fillings, crowns, tooth extraction and dental implants to replace missing teeth. These treatments can often make many patients extremely nervous, with some also being quite lengthy procedures. For more prolonged dental procedures, IV sedation can mean the difference between one appointment and several appointments. 

So What Does IV Sedation Feel Like?

Of course, knowing the details of what happens during an appointment doesn’t answer the question of what IV sedation feels like. 

The short answer? IV sedation feels like a comfortable nap. You’ll be relaxed, physically and mentally. Your dentist can work on your teeth without interruption because you won’t need as many breaks or be as anxious during the procedure.

Time passes quickly when you’re under IV sedation, so your whole appointment may seem like it was only a few minutes long. In most cases, local anaesthesia is still used with IV sedation, but you probably won’t be aware of any injections. If you are, you will be relaxed about them. 

What Happens After the Appointment?

As with general anaesthesia, driving is not recommended for about 24 hours after an IV sedation appointment, so you’ll need to get someone (a friend or family member) to collect and stay with you after your procedure. Additionally, you shouldn’t operate machinery, make important decisions or sign anything important for 24 hours after your sedation. 

You will probably feel noticeably groggy and tired for a few hours after getting home, in addition to numbness and pain from the actual procedure. 

IV sedation shouldn’t add to a procedure’s healing time. Specific aftercare for your treatment will be given to you by your dentist. They will provide you with an aftercare sheet, as you may not remember what you’re told directly following the sedation. 

Stress-Free Dentistry

IV sedation could be for you if you want to go to the dentist without feeling like you’re at the dentist’s. Sleep dentistry is particularly suitable if you need multiple or complex dental procedures or experience intense dental anxiety. 

Are you ready to embrace anxiety-free dental treatment? Then, book an appointment with Beaches Dental Mona Vale today. 

Or, for more details, take a look at Beaches Dental Mona Vale’s IV Sedation page right now.