IV means intra venous. Sedation means to have a soothing or calming effect to decrease fear and anxiety.
There are several commonly used sedation drugs. The most commonly used ones are Hypnovel, and Fentanyl. These have been superseded by Propofol, and Remifentanyl.
A Bispectral (BIS) monitor enables us to monitor the brain’s frontal cortex via a digital display which tells us exactly how sedated the patient is.
By adjusting the flow rate of drug(s) and monitoring the patient, and using the BIS monitor, we can safely and precisely sedate you.
The patient is not put to sleep, but they often feel as if they have been, as they have no memory of the procedure. We talk to the patient during the procedure, and ask them how they are, and if they are happy. It is a ‘conscious’ technique after all.
When is it useful?
Phobic and anxious patients. It’s okay to be scared of having dental treatment. But don’t use fear as an excuse to not have work done. It can be managed so easily by having sedation and your anxiety disappears, so you can cope with your dental work.
Gaggers. Many people are embarrassed that they gag easily and find it difficult to cope with instruments, and water in their mouths when we work. This is a common problem and nothing to be ashamed of, with sedation gagging patients can overcome these difficulties. I have patients who have been unable to have dental treatment until they came to me and had work done with sedation.
Unpleasant procedures eg: wisdom tooth removal.
Long appointments. We commonly do long sessions, where we have one patient for the day, and we complete all of their work in one visit. This can be quite onerous for the patient, and they will often have sedation for the visit so that they can manage the long session.