I.V. Sedation


Q: What is I.V. Sedation?
A:  I.V. sedation is intravenous administration of sedative drugs.  It offers a safe, well-controlled, pain and memory-free experience.  Because the medications take effect in less than two minutes it allows the doctor the ability to administer the perfect dose for your comfort.
Q:  When can I get I.V. sedation and for what purpose? 
A:  I.V. sedation is the most commonly used method of sedation for having wisdom teeth removed.  It is also commonly used for other surgical procedures such as dental implant placement.  It may also be used to alleviate anxiety for those who experience dental fears beyond the usual “white coat syndrome.”  This form of sedation can be used for any dental procedure including cleanings, fillings, root canals, and/or crowns. We want to provide the highest level of comfort possible to help you through your dental experience.
Q:  Who can perform I.V. sedation?
A:  To perform I.V. sedation in the State of Washington, a dentist must hold an I.V. sedation permit in addition to a dental license, which requires additional training.  Dr. Smith has received extensive training in I.V. sedation during two years as an oral and maxillofacial surgery intern in Detroit, Michigan.  He is also certified through the American Heart Association in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. In addition, all assistants and providers at our practice are CPR certified by the Red Cross. 
Q:  What is the difference between I.V. sedation and oral sedation?
A:  The basic difference between I.V. sedation and oral sedation is how the medications are administered.  With I.V. sedation, medications are given through an I.V. line while you are seated in the dental chair.  For oral sedation, a prescription must be filled at a pharmacy and then the medication is taken in pill form prior to the appointment.  When medications are administered by I.V. they take effect within minutes, which allows the provider to give a personalized dose to achieve the perfect level of sedation for you.  Taking a medication orally may take 30-60 minutes to reach its maximum effect, which may or many not deliver the appropriate level of sedation for you.  In other words, I.V. sedation offers more control over your level of sedation than oral sedation.
Q:  How do I know if I am a candidate for I.V. sedation?
A:  I.V. sedation is not for everyone.  At your consultation appointment, we will review your medical history, recommended dental treatment, your anxiety level, and other factors that may influence your suitability for sedation.  We will take all of this into consideration and agree upon an approach that is right for you.