IV Sedation Dentistry Vs. General Anesthesia
The anticipation of pain and associated stress is a major concern of patients when thinking of undergoing a dental procedure. The anxiety-induced avoidance of oral health care issues can lead to severe problems for a patient’s dental and general health. The use of IV sedation dentistry and other types are commonly used by dentists to help patients cope better with pain-related fears about dental procedures such as surgery.
Sedation dentistry uses medicines to help patients remain relaxed during the entire dental procedure. Sedation prevents the feeling of pain and the ability to remember the procedure once completed. But patients should not confuse IV sedation dentistry with general anesthesia as the two are significantly different. Given below are details about the two types of sedation, how they compare and when they should be used.
When is IV Sedation Used?
IV sedation involves administering a sedative through a vein so that it can quickly take effect. The dentist can adjust the amount of IV sedation needed for the procedure as the sedative is given to the patient intravenously. The amount of sedative given to a specific patient can be customized thereby bringing down the risk of side effects and complications. Patients, when still in a semi-awake state can communicate with their dentist, but most patients have almost no recollection of the procedure with the use of IV sedation. Dentists recommend this type of sedation for oral surgery procedures such as wisdom tooth extractions, implant placements, and other invasive dental treatments to help patients relax during these long and stressful treatments.
What Are The Benefits of IV Sedation Dentistry?
IV sedation dentistry has many benefits, and some of them are given below:
Higher Level of Sedation: Compared to inhalation or oral sedation, IV sedation provides an elevated level of sedation
Works Rapidly: As medications are intravenously administered, the medications act quickly. Oral sedatives require an hour or more to take effect
Quicker Recovery Time: With IV sedation patients usually have a shorter recovery time as compared with general anesthesia or oral sedation
Suitable For Severe Anxiety: Highly anxious patients benefit from IV sedation as it achieves an adequate level of sedation
Amnesia: Medications used for IV sedation usually causes amnesia for the duration of the procedure, and patients can rarely recall the dental procedure
Reduces Gag Reflex: Some patients have a sensitive gag reflex, and IV sedation can suppress it and make the treatment easier
Patients Remain Conscious: In IV sedation, patients stay conscious, which makes it an excellent alternative to general anesthesia for patients who want to avoid the risk of complications associated with general anesthesia
Cost: IV sedation is cheaper than other sedation alternatives
Patient-Specific: For some patients who may not be healthy enough for general anesthesia, IV sedation is an available option<
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia uses a combination of intravenous medications and inhaled gasses to make patients fully unconscious so that they can’t respond or feel pain during a medical procedure. Today, it’s not regularly used for dental procedures as its use involves serious complications. Once administered, it depresses the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and is therefore not recommended for regular dental work. If a patient has the following health conditions, opting for general anesthesia can introduce more complications:
History of bad reactions to anesthesia
Obstructive sleep apnea
In What Conditions Is General Anesthesia Required?
Given the effectiveness of IV sedation and other methods, general anesthesia is not used for many dental procedures. But, it can be recommended in some specific dental problems and emergencies such as:
For dental procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, wholly impacted or covered in bone teeth, general anesthesia is a preferred sedation method
Patients having high tolerance for IV sedation medications may require general anesthesia for dental procedures
General anesthesia is advised for other complex oral surgery procedures
For highly anxious individuals unable to cooperate after sedation, general anesthesia is given for dental procedures
For the majority of the patients, IV sedation dentistry is a more advisable option when undergoing dental procedures. But, you should discuss with the dental expert your particular situation about which sedation type should be used. Together, you can come up with the most suitable option. To know more or to schedule an appointment, call Excellence Dental today at (858) 275-2054.
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