Intravenous Sedation

December 2, 2020 by Dr. HonWei Ng

In intravenous sedation, a cannula is placed into a vein and a drug is administered directly into the patient’s blood stream with the patient in supine position.

A cannula (thin plastic tube) will be put into a vein in the back of one of your hands.

The primary goal of IV sedation is to reduce your anxiety, make you feel relaxed and less aware of the dental procedure.

The use of intravenous sedation is indicated in the management of patients with high level of dental anxiety or patients that unable to tolerate stress (epileptic, stroke patient).

During the procedure, adequately sedated patient is demonstrated by expressionless face, drowsiness, and slow speech but they will still be able to understand and respond to verbal contact. However, this patient may not be able to recall events that occurred during the procedure after the treatment.

The major side effect with midazolam sedation is respiratory depression. Thus, the use of a pulse oximeter (device attached to your finger to measure oxygen level and heart rate) is mandatory to monitor patient from this potentially dangerous side effect during the procedure.

Patient who is allergy to benzodiazepines is an absolute contraindication but is extremely rare. IV sedation should be aware in pregnant patient, patient with kidney, liver and heart disease, elderly patient, and children.

Before intravenous sedation

  • Take your routine medicines at usual times and discuss your medical history and the medicines you took with your dentist
  • Inform your dentist if you think you may be pregnant
  • Have a light meal 2 hours before your appointment
  • Do not take alcohol in any form
  • Bring an adult that can bring you home and take care of you afterwards

After intravenous sedation

  • You will need to stay in our recovery room for at least one hour before you leave the clinic.
  • The effects of sedation can last up to 12 hours, thus during this period:
  • Do not drive any vehicle, or operate any machinery, or travel alone
  • Do not take alcohol in any form
  • Do not use internet and social media
  • Do not return to work
  • Do not make any important decisions or sign any legal documents

When compared to general anaesthesia, intravenous sedation is simpler, easier to administer, faster onset with fewer complications and contraindications, patient remains conscious and can breathe on their own throughout procedure.

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