At Auckland Periodontics and Implants, we offer intravenous (IV) sedation to ensure you are comfortable during long or complex procedures. It is a great option if you are anxious or fearful about your treatment.
What is IV sedation?
IV sedation involves administration of an anti-anxiety drug into your vein, which helps you to feel relaxed and drowsy. Rather than being ‘put to sleep’ (like a general anaesthetic) you will remain conscious during your IV sedation. This means that we can keep in touch with you throughout and you can respond to any simple requests. As well as making you feel relaxed and calm, the sedative drug Midazolam has an amnesic effect, which means that you often won’t remember much about the procedure afterwards. Once you are sedated, we also use local anaesthetic (numbing injections in the mouth) to ensure that the whole process is painless.
Is IV sedation safe?
IV sedation, when administered by a specially-trained team, is extremely effective and safe. In fact, it is actually safer than sedative tablets, even though the level of sedation is deeper. We use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment in accordance with the New Zealand Dental Council and New Zealand Dental Association practice standards. We measure your blood pressure and pulse rate, as well as your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. These alert us of any changes quickly so that we can identify and manage any problems before they arise.
At your consultation visit, we will conduct a comprehensive medical assessment to ensure that IV sedation is appropriate for you. A small proportion of patients cannot safely undergo IV sedation, such as pregnant women or those with certain medical conditions. It is therefore very important that you fully disclose your medical history, as well as any medications or drugs you are taking. We will discuss any issues with you and recommend a safe alternative, if required.
What should I do before my IV sedation appointment?
To ensure your IV sedation appointment runs smoothly and safely, you must adhere to the following:
- Do not have anything to eat for four hours, and you cannot drink anything for two hours prior to your appointment time. A small amount of water with medication, however, is fine.
- Wear loose, comfortable, warm clothing
- You must arrange a responsible adult who will accompany you home afterwards
- Do not take any alcohol or recreational drugs on the day of your appointment
What about afterwards?
The medication used for IV sedation remains in your body for up to ten hours afterwards. Therefore, any patient who has had IV sedation for the rest of the day, must NOT:
- Drive a car
- Operate any machinery or equipment, including cooking
- Perform any strenuous physical activity
- Undertake any important business matters
- Drink any alcohol
You must arrange a responsible adult escort to take you home from your appointment and remain with you for the first six to eight hours. We will give you some post-operative instructions and medications specific to your surgery.
To us, your comfort and trust is paramount. We believe that having a good relationship and clear communication with your clinician is the first and most important part of putting you at ease. IV sedation is a useful adjunct to aid relaxation and reduce your anxiety during treatment.
If you have any questions about IV sedation, or you would like to know whether it is right for you, please feel free to contact us.
– Nick, James, Poppy and the team at Auckland Periodontics and Implants