Live Support

Learn how to get the smile you want

  • New Patient Special You Are Going to Like   (page 2)
  • Can Dentistry Really Be Friendly and Gentle?   (page 3)
  • Seven Things You Should Know in Picking a Dentist   (page 2)
  • Why Do People Get in Trouble with Their Teeth – the Answer May Surprise You   (page 7)
  • Smile Transformations You Gotta See   (page 7)
  • Leading Edge Technology for Quicker and Better Results   (page 8)
  • A Breakthrough Solution for Migraine and Chronic Headache Sufferers That Works!   (page 9)
  • Precision Dental Implants - Faster, More Comfortable – The Better Solution to the Problems of Missing Teeth   (page 10)
  • Bigger, Brighter, Whiter Smiles - How to Get Your Beautiful Smile   (page 14)
  • The Journy to Your Smile Makeover – What are the Steps?   (page 15)
  • One Visit Crowns are Now a Reality - Speed and Convenience   (page 17)
  • How To Look Years Younger Even if You Wear Dentures, The End of the "Denture Look" with Facelift Dentures   (page 18)
  • All About Dr Martin - Author, Teacher and Clinician - and Why You Should Know   (page 20)
  • Patients Speak – Real People Tell Real Stories about Their Experiences   (page 22)

IV Sedation

IV Sedation – (IV stands for Intravenous, meaning ‘inside or through a vein”)

Intravenous Conscious Sedation, also known as IV sedation, uses medications that reduce anxiety and the perception of pain. Medications are delivered through a vein, typically in the arm or hand. In dentistry, IV sedation helps those patients with high levels of anxiety or outright fear to have dentistry completed.

For many people, IV sedation offers a real solution to their problems of dental phobia and dental care avoidance. Some just can’t tolerate the typical dental visit at all. At these times, IV sedation can be the way to overcome these limitations.

Will I be Asleep? What Does IV Sedation Feel Like?

IV sedation produces a sleep-like state often called twilight sleep, in which a person is not really asleep although it will often feel like it. It is a state of very deep relaxation of the body. You will typically have a sense of not being bothered by what is going on. You will be able to understand and respond to requests from the dentist.

Will I Remember What Happened?

Memory of the procedure is typically little or none because the medications produce amnesia, complete or partial, of the procedure. This amnesia occurs when the drug begins to have effects and lasts until the drug wears off. As a result, for many people, time will pass very quickly and you will not recall much of what happened. For many, they don’t remember anything at all. (So, in this sense, it may indeed appear that you slept through the procedures.)

How is It Given?

A very small catheter slides into a vein that is close to the surface of the skin in the arm or the back of the hand. This catheter is secured in place and drugs are administered through a procedure called titration to give the least amount of drugs necessary to create the sedation.

Before the procedure is started and throughout the IV sedation, monitoring equipment is used to track your body’s vital signs like breathing, pulse and blood pressure. Your heart rate and oxygen levels are monitored with a pulse oximeter that is attached to a finger (or toe is some cases.) In some cases, a heart monitor is used to track heart rhythms.

“I am Terrified of Needles”

Good news. The tiny sensation one can feel when the IV is placed is so small that patients tell us it feels more like a nuisance than anything to be concerned about. Many say they did not feel anything at all.

Others have told us that they are terrified of all needles. More good news: we can place a special cream on the skin that numbs it before we place the IV.

Are There Contraindications?

There are few contraindications, these include:

  • Allergies to the sedation agents (rare)
  • Alcohol Intoxication
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain Instances of Glaucoma
  • Depression of the Central Nervous System

Other relative contraindications where extra caution must be exercised include impaired liver, kidney or lung function, advanced age and psychosis. Sleep apnea can be a special problem, mention this to us. If you are overweight and you snore, you have a higher likelihood of having this condition.

Heart disease is not a contraindication, but a relative concern we must take into account when giving IV sedation. There are many forms of heart disease and we must consider you specific problem.

Significant notes:

  • If you take tranquilizers now, your tolerance for the ant-anxiety drugs can be high. We will have to plan for this to ensure you get the level of sedation you need.
  • Be sure to let us know whatever medication you take, whether prescription or over the counter drugs. In rare cases, people will neglect to tell us about their over the counter medications or herbals which can turn into a significant problem.

Is IV Sedation Safe?

Yes. IV sedation is extremely safe when done by a trained professional. From a standpoint of statistics, it can be safer than just local anesthetics on their own.

Advantages of IV Sedation

  • More reliably effective than oral sedation if you don’t want to be aware of the procedures because the medications can be administered bit by bit to the desired effect. This is called titration.
  • The onset is rapid and dosages are customized to individual need.
  • Maximum levels of sedation reached are higher than typically found with oral sedation.
  • Many find the amnesia effect desirable.
  • Hypersensitive gag reflexes are reduced enormously or eliminated.
  • Patients are conscious enough to understand instructions and cooperate easily and comfortably. Patients breathe on their own. (With general anesthesia or unconscious deep sedation an air tube is placed into the lungs. Many do not like that.)


  • The site of the IV placement can be bruised. This goes away pretty fast generally. There are other complications where the catheter enters the vein but these are rare.
  • The downside to the amnesia effects is that you may never learn to deal with or unlearn your dental fears without IV sedation. People who feel they must have IV sedation will often not get care as often as they should.
  • IV sedation should not be the first resort. It should not be used to replace tender loving care and behavioral management. You should not feel forced to have IV sedation because your dentist is unwilling or unable help you manage your fears and anxieties for everyday dentistry.
  • Recovery time must be accounted for. Drugs administered must wear off. You will need to be escorted by a responsible caregiver.
  • Fees can be an issue. IV sedation has a higher cost than other sedation options.

Before IV Sedation:

In addition to making sure you get all your questions answered before receiving IV sedation, make sure you do not eat or drink anything eight (8) hours before the procedure. This is called NPO and it means “nothing by mouth.” The reason is that some sedation, particularly with general anesthesia and some medications, can cause the stomach contents to come into the mouth or even vomit. That can lead to significant complications that are best avoided.

After IV Sedation:

1. Have your caregiver take you home and then relax the rest of the day.
2. Follow the written instructions you received in the office about your after-care.
3. Have a responsible person stay with you until you have recovered from the effects of the sedation drugs.
4. Do NOT drive any motorized vehicle or use any hazardous machinery the day of the sedation.
5. Eat lightly. Avoid heavy meals. Soft foods are preferred.
6. If you have nausea, lie down; drink ginger ale or Coke to settle your stomach.
7. Do not consume alcohol.
8. Take the meds as directed by your dentist.
9. If you have unusual problems, contact us right away.