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Dental anxiety can be a major obstacle to your dental maintenance and health. Approximately 22 percent of people skip their dental appointments because they fear the dentist, or have had a bad experience at a dental office. Modern dentistry, however, provides several solutions for finding peace of mind, and personal comfort in the dental chair. Can IV sedation be a solution for your dental anxiety?
What Is IV Sedation Dentistry?
IV Sedation Dentistry, or 'Sleep Dentistry' as it is often called, works as a form of conscious sedation to help you feel relaxed during your appointment. It does not put you fully to sleep, but it makes you less aware of your surroundings. This includes anything the dentist may or may not be doing to your mouth. That means you can still respond to verbal commands or gentle nudging, and you should not need help breathing. Unlike other forms of sedation that are inhaled (nitrous oxide, for example) or taken in pill form, the dentist administers the sedation intravenously through a vein -- most often in your hand.
Benefits of IV Sedation:
Preparation for IV Sedation
There are certain preparations you must make before undergoing IV Sedation -- because your normal mental faculties will be slightly impaired during the procedure. You will need to prepare more for IV sedation than you do for a typical or standard dental appointment.
You will be provided explicit instructions before your appointment by your Dentist. Your Dentist, or a dental staff member will inform you of such things as wearing comfortable clothing, avoiding eating or drinking 6-8 hours before sedation, and to stop taking certain medications (unless approved beforehand). A complete medical history will have to be documented, and you will have to alert your dentist of any changes to your medical history before the initiation of the procedure. You must also make plans to have someone drive you to your appointment and drive you home. For obvious and safety reasons, you will not be permitted to drive yourself home after the appointment.
When you are sitting in the dental chair, a dental professional will start an IV in your hand or arm. Any other medications (such as pain medicine, anti-inflammatories, or steroids) will normally be received through your IV as well. Your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure in case you may have any adverse reactions. As the IV Sedation takes effect, you should immediately feel relaxed and unaware of any sights, smells, or sounds. Your Dentist will then perform the necessary dental procedures.
After the procedure(s)
From this point on, you may feel slightly drowsy for several hours. Your driver will be given any post-procedure instructions from the dentist and will then assist you to your vehicle, and drive you home. For the following 24 hours, you will need to avoid strenuous activity, unapproved medications, alcohol, operating heavy machinery, or making major life decisions. During this time, if you experience or suspect any adverse effects or complications, you are advised to contact your dentist immediately if you suspect any problems. IV Sedation complications are quite rare, but it is best to be cautious.
Are You a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?
Before being scheduled for IV sedation, a
health evaluation, including a review of your medical history and
medication use will be documented. Depending on the Dentist's
professional requirements, and the Dental Regulations pertaining to IV
Sedation in Alberta, patients might first require a consultation with
their primary care physician or medical specialist. You will be required
to obtain a medical form that must be
completed in full by your physician. We require this form in order to
book your appointment.
Typically, good candidates for IV sedation include any of the following:
Your dentist will know best if IV Sedation is right for you. The ability to offer IV sedation to patients requires special training. The Leigh Smile Center Dental Office provides this service to its patients, and the Dentist(s) performing the procedure is fully qualified in IV Sedation procedures. If dental anxiety prevents you from receiving the dental treatment you require to maintain your dental health, you now have the option of relaxing comfortably to receive your oral care procedures. For more information about IV Sedation at the Leigh Smile Center, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-780-349-6700 or 1-888-877-0737 (toll free).
We're a fun and friendly Dental Office, and we want you to feel good about having your dental work done here.
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