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IV Sedation in Dentistry: Know Your Medications

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlee @ 2:57 pm
Patient under the effects of IV sedation

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, is a common way dentists help patients with severe dental anxiety relax during dental procedures. This form of sedation involves administering medication directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous line. There are many types of medications used by doctors and dentists alike, but dentists use specific drugs for their purposes.

If you want to take a closer look at some of these medications and learn how they work, continue reading.

1. Midazolam

Midazolam is a benzodiazepine-based sedative that works within two to three minutes of its use. It’s often used for longer procedures as the effects typically linger for 60 to 120 minutes. Midazolam helps patients feel relaxed and drowsy while also inducing some amnesia.

This often makes patients forget the details of the treatment afterward. If you’re a patient with high dental anxiety, it can be very helpful to know you won’t remember your treatment.

2. Ketamine

Ketamine is an anesthetic created from a psychedelic drug called phencyclidine. It produces a trance-like state of sedation while supporting heart and lung stability. Ketamine works within a minute and wears off after around 10 minutes. While in effect, you won’t feel much as the medicine blocks pain receptors.

This makes ketamine a very effective IV sedation medication for shorter procedures that carry the risk of pain like tooth extraction.

3. Dexmedetomidine

Dexmedetomidine is another potent sedative that dentists use in IV sedation dentistry. It makes you drowsy, even putting you to sleep in some cases. Unlike some other sedatives, dexmedetomidine is continually dripped through your system during your treatment.

This allows your dentist to control how effective the sedative is and how long you’ll be under its effects. Even so, low doses are usually used because it’s known to affect breathing and heart rate at higher ranges.

4. Propofol

Propofol is a popular sedative that contains soybean oil, glycerol, and egg lecithin. It’s one of the fastest-working medications, only taking 90 to 100 seconds before its effects kick in. However, it’s also one of the fastest to be cleared from your system. This means it must often be administered at intervals throughout your treatment.

Each of these IV sedation drugs is unique, allowing dentists to tailor sedation according to your needs. Depending on the type of procedure, your medical history, and your anxiety level, your dentist can choose the right tool for the job. So, next time you’re feeling anxious at the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry!

About the Author

If you have severe dental anxiety, Dr. Jeff Lee has the medical knowledge and the technology to help you relax with sedation dentistry. He’s an understanding dentist who is more than happy to accommodate patients in any way they need to receive treatment. He earned his dental doctorate at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, one of the most prestigious dental schools in the country. Call (740) 236-9392 to schedule an appointment at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery, or visit the website to learn more.

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