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What Types of Drugs Are Used for IV Sedation?

March 13, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — worcesterimplants @ 7:12 pm
Close-up of IV drip used for IV sedation

If you need a powerful form of dental sedation to help you stay calm and relaxed during your periodontal treatment, there’s a good chance that your periodontist will suggest IV sedation. This is a great option for those with severe dental phobias, and it can involve a number of drugs depending on the situation. Want to learn more about IV sedation before having it performed? Here’s a brief look at how it works and what kinds of drugs may be used to soothe your nerves.

What Happens During IV Sedation?

The medication for IV sedation is administered directly to your bloodstream. This involves inserting a thin needle into one of your veins; typically, it will be one located on the back of your hand or somewhere in your arm. Soon after receiving the medication, you will start to feel very at ease. You’ll have little to no awareness of what is going on around you, and in many cases, you may not even remember what happened during the procedure.

The effects of IV sedation tend to kick in relatively quickly, but they can also linger for a long time after the treatment. As such, someone else will need to take you home so that you can rest.

What Drugs Are Involved with IV Sedation?

IV sedation commonly utilizes the following types of medications:

  • Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are useful for lowering a patient’s anxiety levels. They can also cause you to feel drowsy, and they’re often responsible for the amnesiac effect associated with IV sedation. (In other words, if you don’t recall the specifics of your treatment, benzodiazepines are likely the reason.)
  • Opioids: In addition to their sedative effects, opioids can also be used to reduce the discomfort associated with your procedure. Meperidine, morphine, and fentanyl are common examples of opioids that may play a role in IV sedation.
  • Ketamine: Ketamine is known to provide pain relief, and like benzodiazepines, it can also cause you not to remember what happened while the periodontist was working on your mouth. Note that a dose of ketamine normally only lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes; this means it’s a better choice for treatments that don’t take much time.

Is IV Sedation Right for You?

IV sedation is often recommended for patients who are highly anxious about visiting the dentist as well as those who require invasive procedures. Some patients are better candidates for IV sedation than others; your periodontist can let you know whether it’s a good choice for you based on the state of your health.

If you do choose IV sedation, the drugs used will be carefully chosen to help ensure that you have a relaxing periodontal experience. Keep IV sedation in mind as an option if you have any concerns about your upcoming treatment.

About the Author

Dr. David Handsman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, and he is a member of the Massachusetts Periodontal Society. He provides various forms of periodontal care (including dental implant placement and gum disease treatment), and he is proud to be able to offer IV sedation for particularly nervous patients. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Handsman at Handsman & Haddad Periodontics in Worcester, visit his website or call (508) 753-5444.

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