IV sedation is a type of anesthesia offered at some dental practices with advanced specialized training in dental anesthesia. Dental practices that are board-certified in IV sedation allow patients an additional aspect of comfort compared to traditional dental offices.

During IV sedation, patients can complete a large number of complex treatments efficiently. The patient typically presents for a consult visit at which a treatment plan is created. The sedation dentist will prioritize the treatments into a series of efficient visits. Because the patient’s comfort is enhanced during IV sedation, sedation dentistry allows many cosmetic procedures to be completed during a single visit. Patients often may complete several years of dental work in one or two appointments.

The anesthesia helps patients feel calm and relaxed during procedures that may otherwise cause dental anxiety. Dental sedation is also very safe when completed by an experienced board-certified sedation dentist. The patient maintains a certain level of consciousness and control of their own respiration at all times. Patient’s may doze off and sleep through treatment, but also can be awoken to respond to questions or commands if needed.

IV sedation and sleep dentistry may be completed for almost all types of dental work including many cosmetic dental procedures.

Who can benefit from IV sedation anesthesia?

Patients that have dental anxiety and have a severe fear of the dentist benefit most by seeing a sedation dentist. A sedation dentist is well versed in seeing fearful patients, and will have an appreciation and empathy for their fear in addition to the sedation options. Patients who require a complete smile makeover or dental reconstruction also are ideal candidates for sedation dentistry. When a patient requires multiple reconstructive and cosmetic dental treatments, sedation dentistry can provide ideal leverage to increase the efficiency of their treatment. That is why many professionals and celebrities often seek sedation dentistry for their complex cosmetic dentistry or smile makeovers.

Which procedures have IV sedation anesthesia as an option?

For patients that suffer from severe dental anxiety and dental phobia, IV sedation can revolutionize their treatment. Dental sedation can be an option for simple minimally invasive procedures to very complex procedures. When most people think of IV sedation for the treatment they often think of procedures like dental extractions, dental implants, or bone grafting. IV sedation is a great option for invasive procedures, but can also help severely anxious patients complete any of their dental treatment comfortably from cleaning, to composite fillings or crowns, to dental surgery. To sum it up, IV sedation can help all patients make their treatment more comfortable whether its simple dental treatment, purely cosmetic dental enhancement or a complex full mouth reconstruction.

How to decide if IV dental sedation is necessary

Every patient is unique in their personality, fears, and dental treatment needed. It is always up to the patient to decide what will make them most comfortable during their treatment. There are two primary scenarios, however, when IV dental sedation becomes highly beneficial—1) complex smile makeovers or full mouth reconstructions and 2) Patients that severely fear the dentist. Smile makeover may require multiple treatments and appointments. Although not necessary, sedation dentistry can greatly increase the efficiency of your treatment and allow you to get through a complex smile makeover without burning out from numerous appointments. Sedation dentistry can greatly increase the odds of fully completing a series of appointments because it makes the process easier to reach the goal.

For some patients, even the thought of a dentist can make them anxious, and for others, they are comfortable completely complex dentistry with local anesthesia. The key thing to understand is, if you have dental anxiety, you shouldn’t ever feel ashamed. A sedation dentist is well versed with seeing patients who are fearful of the dentist and will respect your concerns. If you have dental anxiety it is usually best to seek a sedation dentist first, and the dentist will discuss your options with you to help achieve the most comfortable and predictable mode of action. After your treatment, you will generally gain comfort and trust, and for future appointments, you may no longer require sedation dentistry!
The good news is that sedation dentistry is a safe option that patients may consider to make their treatment more comfortable and more efficient whether it is routine, cosmetic dentistry, or dental surgery. If you are able to commute to the Boston area, Dr. Sutera would love to meet you to discuss all the options to make dental discomfort history. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!