Why Not Turn to IV Sedation

If IV sedation allows people to go to the dentist, have their work done and walk out of the office happy, why are more people not taking advantage of it? The idea of being able to have dental work done and not remember anything about could appeal to a lot of people. While IV sedation during dentistry is a very effective tool, it is not perfect. There are dangers during IV sedation that people need to be aware of.

  • Over Sedation – IV sedation in dentistry is not designed to completely knock a person out. Giving them too much of any of the medications can cause serious problems that the dentist and their office are not equipped to handle. People that are older or younger are at more risk for complications that can result from too much IV sedation. If a patient does lose consciousness during the sedation, reversal agents should be administered. A benzodiazepine antagonist is typically used to revive a patient that has been given too much IV sedation.
  • Depressed breathing – It is important that during the IV sedation, the level of oxygen in the body is monitored. The drugs can reduce the rate of respiration. This can become even worse if the patient is over sedated. The results of depressed respirations is a lack of oxygen to the body, especially the brain. Dentists need to make sure they have oxygen ready if a patient is suffering from this during the procedure.
  • Swelling – When the IV is placed in the arm, a hematoma can develop. This swelling is not usually dangerous but could be a sign that the IV has not been properly placed and the patient may not receive the medication they need for the procedure.
  • Amnesia – For most people this side effect of IV sedation is actually something they prefer. Not everyone is comfortable with the fact that they do not remember what has happened to them during what may be considered a traumatic experience.
  • Fantasies – Many people have said that during IV sedation, they have experienced sexual fantasies. Some people believe that these fantasies are really happening while they are in the dentist chairs. This can cause some people to be uncomfortable with the procedures or to make accusations that are not true.

Besides the physical effects that some people may not want during IV sedation, there are other reasons that people do not want to or are unable to take advantage of this procedure.

  • The Cost – Going to the dentist is already an expensive endeavor. A general cleaning can cost $85. Simple procedures such as cavities can cost hundreds of dollars. More complicated procedures such as root canals can cost more than $1,000. If people go in for cosmetic procedures, the totals can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance is not always available and may not cover the costs of dental work. It will often not be able to cover the addition of IV sedation. A patient can pay anywhere from $200 to $400 per hour as an extra cost for the IV sedation.
  • Getting an IV – Some people that are terrified of a dentist may also be terrified of getting anything stuck into their body. In order for IV sedation to work, an IV has to be put into place. If a person is unable to do this, they will have to turn to other forms of sedation to help them get the procedure they want. Some people may also have a difficult time getting an IV for physical reasons. It is important that an IV be properly placed in the vein to work and some people may have trouble with getting a good vein to introduce the IV sedation into.

Partner Required – Anyone that undergoes IV sedation will need to have an escort to take them back home after the procedure. The IV sedation can take several hours to a day to fully wear off before a person can return to their normal functions. During that time they will need someone to watch them for any signs of problems as a result of the medications that have been delivered.

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

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