About Intravenous Sedation
When the thought of getting needed dental work puts a patient into a frenzy, he or she can inquire about sedation dentistry. One particular method, intravenous (IV) sedation, deeply relaxes a patient to put him or her at ease during a dental procedure. The highly trained dentists at Cosmetic Dental Associates in Houston will carefully monitor and control the medication that’s entering the patient’s body via the vein. At any time, the amount of sedation being delivered can be changed to suit a patient’s needs. Also worth mentioning is the fact that IV sedation doesn’t actually put a patient to sleep, but instead in a deep relaxation mode.
The drugs involved in IV sedation can vary but most commonly, a class of drugs known as benzodiazepine (or benzo) are used. These are anti-anxiety medications that can relax a patient, induce sleepiness, and cause the patient to forget about the experience. Among benzos used, midazolam is preferred since it leaves the body quicker than other drugs. Local anesthetics can also be used in the IV to cut down on pain. Sometimes, stronger painkillers, like opioids, are added into the IV.
"Five stars for every aspect of this practice. Dr. Riley and Dr. Davis truly care about their patients, take time to do procedures correctly and carefully with the latest technology. The office staff is always friendly and will work with your schedule to get you in when needed. I recommend CDA to all of my friends and family. This IS the place for dentistry."- A.C. / Yelp / Aug 02, 2016
"I have been seeing Dr. Davis and his associates for more than 25 years. I am not an easy patient in that I am a medical professional myself. The fact that I will only trust them with my care speaks for itself. These people are like family, treat you like family, and they are excellent at what they do!"- H.M. / Google / Jul 12, 2019
"Brilliant Doctors, Amazing Staff. I have one annoying tooth and this team not only listened to all I had to say, they took the time to explain all the options. (Of which they had several) I am so glad I went in for the consult. I'll be back for the work!! THANK YOU, Dr. Guerre"- K.J. / Google / Jun 26, 2019
"Dr. Guerre is a world class dentist. A true artisan! I can't say enough about Kim either. She is the most caring and helpful dental hygienist I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Their professionalism is top notch and they genuinely care about you. I look forward to every visit and a dynamite smile. Tami W."- T.W. / Yelp / Jun 20, 2019
"As usual, the team at CDA were awesome this morning. I’m always greeted with a smile and very well taken care of by my hygienist as well as Dr Guerre."- M.N. / Google / Jun 18, 2019
What to Expect
During a consultation, a patient will meet with the dentist to discuss their course of treatment, along with any fears or anxieties that a patient may have. The dentist will go over the sedation options, including IV sedation, which is considered a moderate form of sedation dentistry. If IV sedation is chosen, a thin needle will either be inserted in a vein, usually one in the patient’s hand or inner elbow. Within a few minutes of sedation, the patient will start to feel relaxed and their senses will be diminished, but the patient will be conscious throughout the process. Throughout the procedure, the dentist and other dental professionals will monitor the patient to make sure they are comfortable and not experiencing any negative side effects. The amount of sedation can be changed depending on the patient’s needs.
Even though each patients’ recovery can vary, most patients report feeling alert soon after the IV is halted with little to no pain. However, a patient should not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours following the end of their dental procedure, so a companion must accompany the patient to the appointment to drive them home afterwards. Some patients report feeling nauseous after IV sedation, but the dentist can prescribe medication to alleviate this feeling. It’s also recommended that patients sleep the rest of the day, along with staying hydrated with plenty of water and clear liquids. By the next day, most patients can remember little, if anything, about the appointment due to IV sedation. It is important to note that the memory loss only applies to the actual dental appointment.
The total cost of IV sedation varies, depending on how long the procedure lasts. Patients can pay more than $550 per hour of treatment. In some cases, IV sedation can cost $375 for the first 30 minutes and cost a lower rate per 15 minute increments as determined by the dentist. When IV sedation is elected by the patient, it’s usually not covered by insurance. Our front office can confirm if the patient’s insurance carrier will cover any of the cost.
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More About IV Sedation
If you are dreading your next dental appointment, then IV sedation may be right for you. Simply call our office and we would be more than happy to schedule you for a consultation to go over your concerns and make sure that sedation is an appropriate option.