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Hello!  This page will answer most of the questions you may have regarding IV Sedation and what that means for you in helping you acheive a healthy and beautiful smile.  Both Dr. Jim and Dr. Ben along with Kimberly RN, have had extensive training in IV Sedation.  100% (no kidding!) of our IV patients say "Wow, that was great.  I will never do dentistry another way!"

What does it feel like? Will I be asleep?

IV Sedation is a mild to moderate conscious sedation.  That means that unlike general surgery in a hospital, with IV sedation in our office, you are breathing on your own, can respond to our questions like  "turn your head this way" etc, but will be sleeping and have virtually no memory of the dental appointment. 

The drugs used for IV sedation can produce either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when the drug first kicks in until it wears off. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly and you will not recall much, or perhaps even nothing at all, of what happened. So it may, indeed, appear as if you were "asleep" during the procedure.

Is it still necessary to be numbed with local anaesthetic? Will my dentist numb my gums before or after I'm sedated?

The drugs which are usually used for IV sedation are not painkillers (although some pain-killing drugs are occasionally added, see below for a more detailed discussion), but  are anti-anxiety drugs. While they relax you and make you forget what happens, you will still need to be numbed.

You will not be numbed until the IV sedation has fully kicked in. If you have a phobia of needles, you will very probably be relaxed enough not to care by this stage. Dr. Cope will then wait until the local anaesthetic has taken effect (i. e. until you're numb) before starting on any procedure.

How is the IV started?

Numbing spray is used on your skin, and a very small catheter is painlessly placed in your vein.  Thats it!  Kimberly is called "magic fingers".

Is it safe?

IV sedation is EXTREMELY safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist. Purely statistically speaking, it's even safer than local anaesthetic on its own!  Both Dr. Jim and Dr. Ben along with Kimberly RN have had extensive training with IV Sedation.  Together they work as a team to insure your safety and comfort.   Kimberly is solely dedicated to monitoring all your vital signs, oxygen saturation levels and IV needs while Dr. Cope is doing the dentistry.  We are lucky to have an RN on staff!  Most offices do not have this extra benefit.

What are the main advantages of IV sedation?

  • IV sedation tends to be the method of choice if you don't want to be aware of the procedure - you "don't want to know". The alternative in the US is oral sedation using Triazolam, but oral sedation is not as reliably effective as IV sedation.
  • The onset of action is very rapid, and drug dosage and level of sedation can be tailored to meet the individual's needs. This is a huge advantage compared to oral sedation, where the effects can be very unreliable. IV sedation, on the other hand, is both highly effective and higly reliable.
  • The maximum level of sedation which can be reached with IV is deeper than with oral or inhalation sedation.
  • The IV Medications we use produce amnesia for the procedure.
  • The gag reflex is hugely diminished - people receiving IV sedation rarely experience difficulty with gagging.
  • Can be ideal for those with a phobia of dental injections.
  • Can be an option to get a large treatment plan done in one or very few appointments.  While sedated, time passes very quickly for you (no memory).

Contact Kimberly for any additional Questions, or ask for for a free consult to see if IV Sedation would be a good choice for you!          916-778-3460            kimberly.c@eldoradohillsdental.com