IV and Oral Sedation Options
Patients experience anxiety, when dealing with the dentist, for a multitude of reasons.
IV Sedation Dentistry protocols have been used safely for over 30 years with millions of dental procedures.
For this reason our office is equipped to provide IV sedation.
Dr. Gordon Barnes has been a member of our team for over 10 years.
Before starting any treatments, Dr. Gordon Barnes, Diplomate in the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology, will review your medical history and explain how sedation dentistry can work for you. Our dentists want you to feel good about going forward towards a healthy, new smile.
On the day of your appointment, an intravenous sedative will be administered, to help you relax during treatment. You will be closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure their comfort and safety. Additional medication can be administered if a deeper level of sedation is needed. All of our patients feel NO DISCOMFORT whatsoever during treatment, have little or no memory of the visit, and have minimal discomfort following treatment.
In dentistry, there are two major types of conscious sedation, oral and intravenous (IV).
Both types are effective when treating patients, but IV sedation does have its advantages.
- No need to take a pre-medication relaxant medication
- You can arrive at our office clear headed, and not drowsy
- Once the medication is administered, the effects are almost instantaneous.
- No need to wait for a pill to dissolve, and be absorbed into your bloodstream (a process that can normally take up to an hour)
- Once the medication has been removed, you do not need to continue to receive doses of the sedative.
- You leave less groggy and drowsy
Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Farber is Board Certified to administer (oral conscious) sedation, commonly referred to as “Sleep Dentistry.”
Advantages to patients include:
- Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
- You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
- Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur at during the same visit.
- Less discomfort after treatment.
The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family, drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:
Sedative-Hypnotics: These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis, which is a form of physiological sleep.
Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugs which relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.
While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs, some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Others act in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain. In most cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lower doses, they reduce anxiety without sedation.
Benzodiazepines are also Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (i.e. there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing). It is important to note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. Its important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctor recommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.
Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled by bus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.
When not to take benzodiazepines:
Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist. You should be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.