Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

a dentist resting her head at the back of her hand to signify sedation dentistry

Do you find yourself avoiding dental visits due to dental anxiety? When you delay visiting the dentist, small oral health issues can escalate into major ones needing complex dental treatment. At Dental on York, we help many patients who suffer from dental anxiety receive the treatment they need with sedation dentistry. 

In this article, we share some good things to know about having dental treatment under IV sedation. 

What is IV Sedation?

IV sedation refers to the administering of a sedative through your bloodstream during treatment. IV sedation, also known as sleep dentistry or twilight dentistry, allows you to undergo treatment in a dream-like state. Whilst you’re technically still “awake”, you will have little to no recollection of your procedure once the sedation wears off. 

Who Makes A Good Candidate for Sleep Dentistry?

Any patient who is in good general health makes a suitable candidate for sleep dentistry. We recommend sedation dentistry as a solution for patients who experience one or more of the following:

  • Dental anxiety 
  • General anxiety
  • Sensitive teeth 
  • Complex dental issues
  • Multiple dental treatments in the same appointment 
  • Gag reflex
  • A resistance to numbing through local anaesthesia

Our dentists conduct a preliminary consultation to ensure your eligibility for IV sedation. It includes them checking your medical history, oral health history, medications taken as well as any allergies you may have. In the case of a medical condition like high blood pressure, for example, you may need clearance for IV sedation from your doctor. 

What Does IV Sedation Feel Like?

IV sedation medication enters your bloodstream through a vein in your arm or hand. The sedative puts you in a state of semi-consciousness. You’ll be unaware of the things happening around you, but still able to respond to your dentist. At Dental on York, we administer sedation as well as numb the site with a local anaesthetic. 

Preparing For Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment

Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions to follow before your appointment. Generally, it’s recommended that you prepare for your sedation dentistry appointment by: 

  • Not eating or drinking 6 hours before your dental treatment. (You may take your normal medications with a sip of water unless instructed otherwise by your dentist). 
  • Avoid smoking in the 24 hours leading up to your appointment 
  • Dress comfortably, removing any jewellery, nail polish and contact lenses
  • Arranging for a companion to drive you to and from your appointment 
After Having Intravenous Sedation

You will be very sleepy during your dental treatment. So, you will go into a short period of recovery afterwards in one of our recovery rooms. This allows you to regain full consciousness before being released to your companion who will take you home. It’s important that you are alert before you leave the dental practice. 

Feeling drowsy after undergoing any form of sedation is normal. It’s essential that you have someone drive you home and a clear schedule for the rest of the day. It can take up to 24 hours for you to feel 100% yourself again. So, it is a good idea to avoid alcohol, driving and strenuous activity during this time. 

Your dentist will provide you with recovery instructions specific to your IV sedation and dental work completed. 

The Benefits of IV Sedation Dentistry

In comparison to other forms of sleep dentistry available, IV sedation dentistry provides many benefits:

  • The sedatives take effect quickly when administered through your bloodstream 
  • IV sedation means you can breathe and move on your own. It eliminates your ability to feel pain rather than having an impact on your body’s processes. This means you do not need to receive oxygen and will be able to respond to your dentist if necessary.
  • This type of sedation typically leaves you with little to no recollection of your procedure. This includes smells, sounds and sensations. For those with dental anxiety triggered by dental office stimulus, this can be helpful when it comes to needing future treatment. 
  • IV sedation has fewer side effects than other methods of sleep dentistry, for example, general anaesthetic. This means less sedation-related downtime and discomfort post-treatment.
Sydney IV Sedation Dentistry

If you feel nervous, anxious or afraid when thinking about a visit to the dentist, then you’re not alone. But, it’s important not to avoid treatments that are necessary for good oral health.

Our team of gentle and compassionate dental professionals are experienced in treating people with dental anxiety. At Dental on York, your comfort is our top priority. We aim to create a stress-free and relaxed environment.

Sedation dentistry is a great option if you have a fear of needles, the dentist, or dental procedures in general. Our dentists may also recommend IV sedation if you are undergoing complex or multiple treatments.

Contact us to see how we can help you.

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