Intravenous (IV) sedation refers to the administering of an anti-anxiety drug through the blood during your dental treatment. An IV sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as ‘twilight’ or ‘sleep’ dentistry. However, rather than putting you to sleep, the sedative helps you to relax and feel at peace
You will have to make some adjustments to your habits and activities before getting IV sedation during a dental visit. The American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists recommends not eating or drinking anything at least eight hours before your visit or procedure. Your dentist can provide you with more specific details on eating and drinking, including when to stop, based on the time of your visit.
Although IV sedation won’t put you completely under, you are likely to feel pretty groggy or out of it for some time after your visit. Have a friend or family member bring you to the dentist and, more importantly, drive you home afterward. It’s a good idea to avoid scheduling anything for the rest of the day so you can rest.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions about any medications you might take. You may have to stop taking some medicines before your visit.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER IV SEDATION?
Drowsiness is the most common side effect. It’s also the most obvious, since the purpose of anesthesia is to relax the body. It sometimes takes 24-48 hours for the medications to fully exit your system, so we strongly recommended that you get plenty of rest after a sedation surgery. This will ensure the quickest recovery possible.
2. Dry Mouth
Oral surgery causes dry mouth for three reasons. First, your mouth is open for the majority of your surgery, which allows air to evaporate saliva, and the suction we use during surgery further accelerates the drying process. Second, we pack dry gauze area the surgical sites after surgery, which continues to absorb any saliva in the mouth and leaves it feeling more dry than usual. Third, dry mouth is a very common side effect of our sedation medications (as well as a vast number of other prescription medications that you may see commercials for on television).
3. Nausea Or Vomiting
Because of the way IV sedation medications affect the brain and gastrointestinal systems, you may experience some nausea or vomiting. Some people face a higher risk for these side effects, particularly people with a strong history of motion sickness, females, younger patients, and those who have family histories of nausea and vomiting upon waking from surgery. Sometimes the gauze placed over your extraction sites can stimulate the gag reflex too, which can cause dry heaving or the feeling of choking, though this is less common and usually lasts only a short time.
As the sedation medications wear off, it is common for the patient’s eyes to tear up or for the person to cry. Adolescent females are at the highest risk of tearing up after surgery. The patient’s family or friend should know that this is not due to pain; our patient wake up with numbness in the surgical areas.
Post-surgery headaches occur for a combination of reasons. Most often, it is a side effect of the sedation medications exiting the patient’s system. Headaches are also caused by dehydration or low blood sugar, since patients cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night prior to surgery.
Most of our patients experience memory loss after IV sedation. In fact, that’s the reason for having sedation in the first place! A patient might realize the day following surgery that they have no recollection of waking up after their surgery or leaving the office. This can mean partial or full memory loss for several hours following anesthesia. We understand that the prospect of surgery with conscious sedation might be unnerving for you, especially if you’ve never had surgery before. Anesthesia comes with some small risks and a lot of unknown variables. This, combined with the prospect of a potentially painful procedure, is definitely scary to a lot of patients. Fortunately, conscious sedation is a safe technique.