Stay up to date

Sedation Dentistry

How to Ensure the Maximum Comfort With IV Sedation

IV Sedation

How do we make sure that you remain relaxed and comfortable during your oral surgery, especially if you have high levels of dental anxiety? It is common for patients to feel anxious about undergoing dental procedures. This is why our doctors go the extra mile to give our clients the most comfortable experience possible during their dental procedures.

In this discussion, we will take you through the basics of IV sedation, highlight some benefits of the process,  guide you on what to expect during the process, along with other important information you should keep in mind before scheduling your appointment at Palmetto Dental Arts.




We often prescribe this option for patients undergoing complex treatments that involve oral surgery. A case in point, we have prescribed IV sedation for patients having their teeth extracted, or for those receiving a dental implant. This option is also suggested for the special needs population, and patients diagnosed with severe cases of dental anxiety.



While dental anxiety  or dental phobia is common among patients, it can manifest in many different ways, such as:

  • Feeling nauseated before or during your procedure
  • Experiencing a racing heartbeat
  • Inability to sleep the night before your appointment
  • Experiencing spinning thoughts
  • Experiencing shortness of breath



Once you arrive at our practice, you will find our staff waiting for you. They will accompany you to a private room, where you will receive your treatment. The administration of the sedation will be done through IV, directly into your bloodstream. You will feel the effects almost immediately. 

Once your treatment is complete, you will barely recall the procedure. It is also worth noting that the effects of the sedation will take some time to wear off after the procedure. Therefore, you should have a friend or a family member with you to take you home. Your doctor will give you extensive aftercare instructions, in addition to any needed medication.



The most common side-effect that you will experience after your IV sedation procedure is drowsiness. Other temporary side-effects include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Temporary amnesia after the procedure



The following are the main advantages of IV sedation:

1. The effects are felt immediately  

This is especially beneficial to patients who experience extreme episodes of anxiety because they will be returned to a state of calm in no time.

2. The procedure is reliable

Because the IV medication will not be metabolized by the body the same way as other drugs, it will be easy for your doctor to make an accurate prediction of the expected results.

3. The procedure is easily adjustable

Depending on your needs, your doctor can decide to increase or reduce your dosage.

4. You are guaranteed a quick recovery

Although it may take some time for the drug to completely get out of your system, IV sedation has a faster recovery timeframe compared to general anesthesia or oral sedation.



1. Is being sedated the same as being unconscious?

No. You will be fully conscious but at a heightened level of relaxation. 

2. How safe is IV sedation?

One of the main benefits of IV sedation is that your doctor will control the amount of medication administered. Because the effects of the medication are almost immediate, your doctor may give you the sedative in small doses until you reach a sedation level that both of you are comfortable with.

Conversely, if the level of sedation becomes higher than originally intended, reversal drugs can be immediately administered via the IV.  Furthermore, you can rest assured, knowing that your dentist is well trained to handle emergencies. It is also worth noting that your doctor will first go through your medical history and discuss with you other alternatives to avoid any adverse reactions to the sedative.

Having said that, there are specific conditions that may make IV sedation unsafe for you, such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • An allergy to benzodiazepines
  • Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Suffering from some kind of glaucoma
  • Experiencing depression of the central nervous system
3. How long do I have to wait for the sedation to wear off?

Many factors determine the amount of time the sedative takes to wear off from your body. That said, many patients begin to regain full consciousness after 8 hours. Nevertheless, because IV sedation causes drowsiness, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, avoid driving a vehicle, or operating any heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after your procedure.

4. How do I know if I am an ideal candidate for IV sedation?

Any person, either a child or an adult, who suffers from mild to severe dental anxiety is a good candidate for sedation dentistry.  If you fall under the following categories, please ask your doctor if you can have IV sedation as an option for your next appointment:

  • You fear needles
  • You have had a previous bad experience
  • Your teeth are overly sensitive and/or you have a strong gag reflex
  • You intend to undergo a very complex dental procedure
  • You intend on having a very comfortable and relaxed dental experience



Our team of trained professionals works closely together and cautiously to minimize any chances of complications during your procedure. Your comfort and safety are our top priority.

To minimize risks, your doctor will carry out a thorough pre-treatment evaluation and go through your full medical history. Remember to share with your doctor any medications you are currently using to avoid possible drug interactions.



Caring for your oral health properly is important for the overall health of your body. Avoiding visiting your dentist due to past traumas and other phobias can lead to a range of preventable issues. IV sedation is the perfect solution for anxious patients.

If you feel you could benefit from IV sedation during your next appointment, contact us and help us know how we can fully accommodate all your needs.

Get latest articles directly in your inbox, stay up to date