The Effects of the Drugs that are Used during IV Sedation

The different drugs that are used during IV sedation will have different effects on the person that is receiving them. All of the drugs have the goal of allowing the patient to overcome their fears of the dentist and to have the dental work that is needed done. The drugs that are used for IV sedation on any patient depends on what their fears are, how strong they are and the needs of the patient. It is a good idea to know how the different drugs impact a person undergoing IV sedation.

  • Anti-anxiety drugs – These drugs impact a person in three different ways. They create a relaxed feeling throughout the entire body. That allows a person to accept the treatment that they need to undergo without tensing their body or refusing to do it. These drugs can also cause a person to feel sleepy during the procedure. Not everyone will have the same degree of sleepiness. Some will fall completely asleep while others will be in a daze. The third effect is the loss of memory. Many people exhibit partial or total amnesia as a result of the drugs. This is very helpful in allowing a person to come back to the dentist because all they remember is the feeling of relaxation.
  • Opioids – Opioids are a powerful painkiller. Morphine and Fentanyl are two of the well-known opioids that are commonly used during IV sedation. These do not help a person relax for the procedure. They are designed to manage the pain of a procedure after the procedure is done. During the procedure, a local anesthetic will mask the pain, but when that wears off, these drugs can provide a longer period of relief from the pain. The opioids are typically used in combination with the anti-anxiety drugs in IV sedation.
  • Barbiturates – Barbiturates can be used to create a longer period of sedation when it is needed for more complicated procedures. This is not something that is commonly used in IV sedation.
  • Propofol – Many people may have heard of this drug when a famous singer died from its use. It is a very powerful sedative that requires a person with a lot of experience in its use. It is very easy to give more propofol than is needed for an IV sedation procedure.

How to Decide what Drugs to Use during IV Sedation

Dentists that practice IV sedation dentistry will often use a combination of drugs to produce the results that the patient needs. Deciding what to use and whether to use a combination of drugs will depend on the dentist, the needs of the patient and the type of procedure that is being done. A good dentist will take the time to learn why a patient wants to turn to IV sedation and what their expectations are. They also need to take a detailed medical history to make sure they do not use any drugs that could cause potential harm to the patient. Each individual is unique and the decision about what type of IV sedation should be done on a patient by patient basis.

For more information about IV sedation, call Progressive Dental Care to talk to a professional about your options today.

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