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IV Sedation


What is IV sedation in dentistry?

IV sedation, also known as conscious sedation, is when medication is administered into a vein to manage discomfort and anxiety during a dental procedure. Contrary to popular opinion, most IV sedation keeps you awake. You tend to be less aware of every step of the process and feel a little loopy.

Other forms of sedation include medicine you inhale (like nitrous oxide) or sedatives taken in a pill. Your dentist will work with you to decide which type of sedation is best for your situation, procedure and concerns.


The main benefits of IV sedation are that it works quickly; it's easy to adjust the dose, and patients tend not to remember what happened during the procedure. Only dentists with specialized training can provide IV sedation, so it is not available at all dental offices.

Preparation for IV sedation

IV sedation requires an empty stomach to be safe and effective. No eating or drinking anything other than a sip of water for at least eight hours before the procedure is required. A friend or family member will need take you home once the procedure is complete. Wear loose fitting clothing, as this makes starting the IV and attaching the sensors more comfortable. While IV sedation is conscious sedation, you may still feel tired after your procedure. Plan on staying home the rest of the day until the effects of the sedation wear off.


When you arrive the day of the procedure we will review your medical history and a few other details. Next, an IV will be started and sensors will be placed on your finger and arm that will monitor your heart and lungs. Next, a medication will administered that will help relieve any anxiety. Shortly after, the procedure will begin. During treatment, you will be awake, breathing on your own and able to respond to small requests such as opening your mouth, but comfortable and a bit loopy. The purpose of the sedation is to relieve anxiety and discomfort.  

Am I a candidate?

If you feel anxious or scared of major or even routine dental procedures, sedation might help you deal with the anxiety. Please contact us for a consultation to see if you would be a good candidate.

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