Myths Surrounding IV Sedation Dentistry

Many commons myths surround IV sedation dentistry. At Patrick Toms DMD, we understand that our patients want to know the truth surrouding this common practice. So, we've set out to provide just that. Below are some common myths about IV sedation dentistry along with explanations to help keep your expectations clear and realistic.

When people hear the words “sedation dentistry” it often evokes feelings of serious, intense dental procedures and grueling hours in the dentist chair. As a sedation dentist in Gainesville, we can attest to the fact that these beliefs aren’t true.

Sedation dentistry is all about convenience and relaxation. It’s designed to make even the simplest dental procedures comfortable. Below are some common misconceptions that we want to set straight:

I won’t be subjected to needles during the dental procedure.

While IV sedation creates a maximum comfort level by eliminating anxiety, the dentists at Patrick Toms DMD will likely still need to use needles to administer local anesthesia. However, because a patient is free from anxiety and in a deep station of relaxation, it is very likely that he/she will not remember any needles. This occurrence of amnesia is very common during IV sedation and allows us to use needles without our patients being aware of it.

I’ll be totally asleep.

Under IV sedation, our patients will be extremely comfortable and free of anxiety; however, they will not be asleep. Patients can still respond to and hear comments from our dentists and staff, and they continue to breathe on their own throughout the entire dental procedure.

The effects of IV sedation will be completely gone following my dental procedure.

While patients typically recover much faster from IV sedation than general anesthesia, the effects of IV sedation will continue after the dental procedure is over. For this reason, it is highly recommended that patients avoid certain behaviors for at least 24 hours after undergoing IV sedation.

These behaviors include:

  • Driving a car
  • Participating in strenuous activity such as exercise or heavy lifting
  • Operating heavy machinery
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Making important decisions such as those involving legal matters

IV sedation is the same as general anesthesia.

Unlike general anesthesia, patients can still respond to comments and requests by staff and can breathe on their own during IV sedation. Under general anesthesia, you are not breathing on your own. The person administering anesthesia uses an endotracheal tube (placed inside your windpipe) to control your breathing. Additionally, patients typically recover much more slowly from general anesthesia compared to IV sedation.

I won’t be monitored during IV sedation.

When administering IV sedation, dentists are required to monitor a patient’s vital signs including breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. Patients are attached to a device that provides instant information on each vital sign throughout the entire procedure. At Patrick Toms DMD, our dentists ensure that all vitals stay within normal ranges so that our patients are comfortable and free from pain and/or anxiety.

Sedation dentistry is only helpful if I haven’t been to the dentist office in years.

Not true! While sedation dentistry can help you stay relaxed if numerous procedures are needed, it can also be a viable option for people who just need to “take the edge off” of a dental visit. Sedation dentistry is just as viable an option for those anxious patients who need a teeth cleaning or cavity filled as it is for people who need several root canals.

It will take me a few days to recover from sedation dentistry.

False. Sedation dentistry is very customizable to a patient’s needs, and it can be tailored to fit the exact length of a dental visit. At our office, we offer oral sedation and IV sedation, both of which wear off within hours of the dental visit. The only thing we ask is that you have a designated driver who can assist in bringing you to and from the office – just to play it safe.

Sedation dentistry is high risk.

Sedation dentistry is actually very safe. Our dental staff is trained to monitor your vitals any time you are sedated, and we know exactly what to do in the small event that any reaction occurs. The majority of our patients only experience relaxation and comfort and feel okay with requesting sedation dentistry for subsequent visits.

Sedation dentistry makes a person unresponsive.

False again. The beauty of sedation dentistry is that it puts you in a deep state of relaxation, but you can still respond to and hear requests. There is often full memory loss associated with sedation dentistry, so you won’t be able to recall the procedure. All you will experience is comfort in the dental chair while our staff talks to you.

Bottom line, as one of the few sedation dentists in North Georgia, we want the opportunity to discuss sedation dentistry’s benefits with you and help you determine if it’s a right fit for you. We are happy to set up one-on-one consultations with you in our office. To learn more or to set up an appointment, please contact us.

To learn more about sedation dentistry at Patrick Toms DMD, please contact our Gainesville office today to set up your individual consultation.

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