What to Expect With IV Sedation

Before, During and After Your Dental Procedure

As a leading IV sedation dentist in Gainesville, Georgia, Patrick Toms DMD is glad to offer patients several tips that help prepare them for the IV sedation process. While IV sedation provides maximum comfort and anxiety relief for patients with little to no risk of complications, there are still some important factors to note regarding the sedation process and your dental procedure.

Before your dental procedure

Patients should take some simple steps prior to undergoing IV sedation to better ensure that they enjoy the safest, most relaxing procedure possible.

Prior to arriving at our office for IV sedation, patients should:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing that is comfortable.
  • Remove jewelry and nail polish.
  • Avoid eating or drinking 6-8 hours prior to the dental procedure.
  • Avoid taking any medications prior to the procedure (unless previously approved by your dentist).
  • Alert your dentist of any significant changes in medical history.
  • Bring an escort with you to our office.


During your dental procedure

After arriving at our office, staff will start an IV for the patient. The IV is typically started in a person’s hand or arm. The majority of medications will be administered through this IV and pushed into the patient’s bloodstream during the procedure. Typical medications include sedatives, pain medicine, anti-inflammatories and/or steroids.

Through IV sedation, our patients enjoy a highly relaxed state free from any pain or discomfort. It is important to note that a patient goes through multiple levels of sedation before he/she is fully conscious. Because of this fact, your dentist is aware of any discomfort the patient experiences prior to the patient becoming aware of it, and the dentist can increase or decrease the amount of sedation medication and/or local anesthetic throughout the dental procedure to ensure the patient’s maximum comfort. Sedation can be maintained for multiple hours when necessary.

Often, IV sedation will be utilized for significant dental procedures including severe tooth extractions, routine wisdom teeth removal or multiple root canals. Because IV sedation is the strongest form of conscious sedation, patients should expect to have moderate to high levels of amnesia during the procedure.

After your dental procedure

Patients may be slightly drowsy following IV sedation; however, the drowsiness should subside within several hours following the procedure. Because our patients enjoy a highly relaxed state during IV sedation, they should expect some of the amnesia effects to extend past the procedure. For this reason, an export is highly recommended to drive the dental patient back home following his/her procedure, and patients should avoid strenuous activity, taking medications (unless approved by the dentist), drinking alcohol, making important decisions and operating cars or heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the IV sedation. Returning to work following IV sedation is not recommended; however, patients should be suitable to work within 24 hours of a procedure.

Complications from IV sedation are very rare, but patients and their escorts should be sure to contact the dentist immediately with any condition that arises following the procedure. The most likely effect is having local irritation at the IV site.

To learn more about our IV sedation services, contact us today and set up an individual consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!


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