If the idea of a visit to the dentist sends chills down your spine, or the sight of an injection causes crippling anxiety, Southern Smiles Dental is pleased to offer you IV sedation dentistry services. Our practice offers patients the convenience of IV sedation or sleep dentistry to calm the nerves and get essential dental work done.


What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Also known as twilight dentistry, intravenous sedation is the administration of medication straight into the bloodstream to help you relax. Even though the procedure is often referred to as sleep dentistry it is important to note that you are not actually asleep for the procedure. You are awake and responsive but you are in a very relaxed state.

Your dentist may sedate you lightly, moderately, or deeply but with all types of sedation, you will be awake and able to respond to questions your dentist asks you. The level of sedation will depend on your levels of anxiety and the complexity or duration of the procedure you are having done.


What Can You Expect From Intravenous Sedation?

A needle is used to connect a tube to your veins. This is usually done on the top of one of your hands. Your practitioner will administer the medication through the tube and directly into your bloodstream so it starts working very quickly. Your vitals (blood pressure, oxygen, and pulse) are monitored to ensure you do not experience any adverse reaction.

Your IV sedation will be the first procedure you experience and if you are having anaesthetic, it will be administered after the sedation is working.

It is quite normal to have some amnesia or memory loss after the medication has worn off.


How Do You Prepare For IV Sedation?

Your dentist will advise you to avoid food and drink for at least eight hours before your procedure. You should also chat with your dentist about any medication you may be taking. Your dental practitioner will give you customised preparation tips about your procedure prior to beginning.

He or she will also recommend that someone else drive you home afterwards as you may be groggy for some time. You should drink plenty of water for the rest of the day following your procedure.


How Do You Know If You Are A Candidate For IV Sedation?

For the most part, having an intense fear of the dentist, medical environment, or needles that is debilitating enough for you to avoid dental care is usually sufficient for intravenous sedation. You will need to be in relatively good health and not present with any risk factors.

Dental Patient

Sedation dentistry is most popular among patients who

– Struggle to sit in the dentist’s chair because of the anxiety of past trauma

– Have sensitive teeth or gums or who have a low pain tolerance

– Need to have complex or extensive dental procedures

– Have a severe gag reflex.


Patients with pre-existing health conditions and older people are more likely to have adverse reactions to sedatives. Patients who are obese or have sleep apnoea may not be candidates for sedation dentistry. It is also unsuitable for patients who are pregnant, have known allergies to benzodiazepines or who are experiencing CNS depression

A discussion with your dentist will determine the most effective form of relaxation for your dental treatment.

Typically, IV sedation is reserved for more invasive procedures like wisdom teeth extractions, root canals, and dental implant procedures while laughing gas is used for shorter treatments.


How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation does always carry some element of risk but there are some checks and balances you can carry out to mitigate the risks.

Your dentist will perform a full medical history prior to sedating you and ask you about any medication you may be taking.

Find out what sort of dose your dentist plans to administer and then research whether this is suitable for your age, health, and weight.

Enquire about your dental practitioner’s qualifications and experience at carrying out sedation dentistry before going ahead with treatment.

Your dentist should also give you a written notice of the risks associated with your procedure under sedation. Read through it and ask your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.


What Are The Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry?

IV sedation relaxes you and helps you to feel completely relaxed in your dentist’s chair.

Sedation makes it seem as though time is passing very quickly and the procedure is over ‘in a flash’.

IV sedation enables you to receive important dental treatments that you may otherwise avoid out of fear. Regular visits to the dentist can help you to avoid major dental emergencies and events and if anxiety is preventing you from receiving treatment, sedation is a major benefit.

Sedatives get into your bloodstream quickly and do not add very much additional time to your appointment. Most people recover relatively quickly afterwards.


To find out more about IV sedation dentistry and whether you are a candidate for this procedure please contact our practice and speak to an expert: (02) 8503 9902

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