Treatment Spotlight: IV Sedation

Published on February 11, 2021
Treatment Spotlight: IV Sedation

Treatment Spotlight: IV Sedation

Whether you’re one of the many Australians who suffer from dental anxiety - a significant fear of visiting the dentist - or are concerned about a lengthy or painful dental procedure, you may benefit from a technique called IV sedation (also known as twilight dentistry).

With IV sedation, you can enjoy a pain-free dental experience feeling relaxed and peaceful. In fact, you’re unlikely to even remember your procedure! Find out more about IV sedation and how it can offer an ideal solution for anxious patients.

What is IV sedation?

IV sedation - sometimes called twilight dentistry - involves the administration of a sedative before dental treatment is performed. The sedative is given to you intravenously under the supervision of a qualified medical doctor or dentist.

Who would benefit from IV sedation?

IV sedation can be a great choice for patients who are particularly fearful of visiting the dentist. Your dentist may recommend IV sedation in the following circumstances:

  • If your dental procedure is lengthy or complex
  • If you experience high levels of stress or fear about dental procedures
  • If you have a low threshold for pain or a pronounced gag reflex

It’s important to talk to your dentist about IV sedation and whether it’s the right option for you.

Who can administer IV sedation in Australia?

Only dentists or dental specialists who are endorsed for conscious sedation by the Dental Board of Australia are able to administer IV sedation. Aside from board-endorsed conscious sedation dentists, IV sedation can also be administered by medical doctors with appropriate training and general anesthesiologists.

National Dental Care Group has multiple dentists who are experienced in and qualified to perform procedures using IV sedation from the comfort of our fully-equipped dental practices.

What’s involved in IV sedation at the dentist?

If you’re a suitable candidate for IV sedation, you can rest assured that the team at your local National Dental Care Group practice will ensure you are prepared and comfortable before the procedure begins.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect when undergoing IV sedation:

  1. The sedationist will insert a thin needle into a vein in your hand or arm in order to administer the sedative through a connected IV. If you have a fear of needles or a low tolerance for pain, they may apply a numbing cream to your skin first.
  2. Your sedationist will monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure, in order to ensure there is no adverse reaction to the sedative. During your dental procedure, you’ll feel relaxed, calm and peaceful.
  3. After the treatment, you may feel a little sleepy or groggy for a short time, with most patients having no memory of their procedure. Your sedationist will check your vital signs again to ensure there were no issues. You’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure.

Will I feel any pain during my dental procedure if I have IV sedation?

No. As the IV sedative starts working in just a few minutes, your dentist can commence dental treatment without you feeling any pain during the procedure.

What drugs are used in IV sedation?

The type of sedative drug your dentist will use for your IV sedation is dependent on a number of factors, including your age, medical history, and type of procedure. Some common sedatives used in IV sedation include midazolam, diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and propofol.

Why is IV sedation also known as ‘twilight dentistry’?

If you’ve heard the term ‘twilight dentistry’, you might wonder if this is something different to IV sedation - but it’s actually the same thing! Twilight dentistry is a nickname given to IV sedation due to the fact that it can put you in a ‘twilight-like’ sleep with little awareness of your surroundings.

Some other names used for IV sedation include sleep dentistry, twilight anaesthesia, sedation dentistry and conscious sedation.

If you have an upcoming dental procedure and would like to find out whether IV sedation is suitable for you, chat to the friendly team at your local National Dental Care Group practice. We can discuss your options, assess whether you’re a suitable candidate, and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.

To make an appointment at your local practice, book online today.

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