For patients who want to be unaware of treatment as far as possible this is the choice of most patients. Intravenous sedation can be provided in a number of ways producing a very pleasant experience for the patient with good operating conditions for the surgeon combined and robust safety. Intravenous sedation is so effective that it is often hard to suggest any other form of dental treatment to those who have experienced it.
This powerful form of anxiety relief, hypnosis and relaxation involves drugs given into a vein. There are a number of techniques including "traditional" IV Sedation, Continuous Infusion Sedation, and Patient Controlled Sedation. All these techniques produce a feeling of relaxation and sleepiness. Treatment can then be carried out by using the normal local anaesthetic which is given as needed during treatment. However this is almost never remembered by patients. Most people who think they need general anaesthesia because of fear and in our experience most of those who try IV sedation would never have a general anaesthetic again.
What to expect
•Intravenous sedation produces a loss of memory of the time of the procedure, which to many is astounding.
•There is no need to be concerned that memory will be lost for long periods after the treatment. This doesn't happen.
•The patient always feels that the time in the surgery is a lot shorter than it really is. Intravenous sedation usually has no unpleasant side effects.
•Intravenous sedation is the most controllable way of determining the exact level of ideal sedation individually needed.
•Depending on the technique used sedation can be controlled to last for anything between just a few minutes to a number of hours.
•Most people think its fantastic!
What not to expect
•Patient controlled sedation does not produce general anaesthesia or oblivion. In other words it is not totally without sensation like an anaesthetic for open heart surgery! Most people remember little or nothing but have the safety of the body being able to control all essential functions.
The dental surgeon administers one or more drugs into a vein. The amount of drug is measured to the patient's need because everybody's needs are variable. With most techniques this produces sedation lasting about 1 hour. However this time period can be extended or shortened if necessary. This type of IV sedation is very effective and leaves most patients slightly sleepy for the rest of the day. It produces excellent amnesia (loss of memory of the events during the procedure). This type of sedation can be used for routine conservation (fillings etc) or surgery such as the removal of wisdom teeth.