Raleigh Dental Arts is pleased to announce that we now provide in-house IV anesthesia (IV sedation) at our Raleigh private practice. This specialized service has been in the works for several months, and we’re thrilled to let our patients know they can now access specialized sedation dentistry without any referrals to an outside surgical center.
What is IV Sedation/Anesthesia?
IV anesthesia is a deeper level of sedation medication that is delivered through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm. Since the IV allows for a slow, consistent drip of the medication, it is extremely accurate and safe to control within a setting like a private dental practice.
With IV anesthesia you’re able to elect to have a “deeper” level of relaxation during your appointment. While other types of sedatives may be just fine for most people, there are still some individuals who want to completely tune everything out and make it feel as if they’re sleeping through their entire appointment. Although lighter sedatives do allow for deep relaxation, you can still be slightly conscious (although drowsy) throughout the visit. While that’s certainly fine, it might not be ideal for extensive smile rehabilitation that requires a bit longer appointment.
One of the added advantages of IV anesthesia is that our Raleigh dentists can control how long your appointment needs to be. You won’t notice, because you’ll essentially feel as if you’re napping through it. But medications like oral sedation wear off after a few hours, limiting the total amount of time available to perform specific treatments. Since IV anesthesia is turned on and cut off at precise times — based on the treatments planned — it is highly accurate concerning how much time we need to complete your care.
Who is Overseeing My Dental Sedation Appointment?
Raleigh Dental Arts has partnered with a licensed anesthesiologist to perform all of our IV anesthesia deliveries. By having a medical professional visit our facility, we’re adding an extra layer of safety for our patients while also freeing up our Raleigh dentists to focus on what they do best: care for your smile.
Our licensed anesthesiologist works alongside our Raleigh dentists as they plan, deliver, and monitor your anesthesia. Once you’re made completely comfortable, we begin your planned dental procedure. As our Raleigh dentists devote all of their attention to your oral health needs, the anesthesiologists carefully monitors your vitals, the medication delivery, and make adjustments if needed. Then once we’ve completed your dental procedure, the anesthesiologist makes adjustments to the medication drip and eases you off of the sedative. We’re by your side the entire time, as the drowsy effects of the anesthesia begin to wear off.
Working with an anesthesiologist means you get access to the highest quality of care from the best providers. Anesthesiologists are experts in anesthesia and sedation practices, as it’s their primary focus of care. This benefit is the perfect partnership with our Raleigh dentists, who simply need to focus on your smiles!
When to Consider IV Sedation
You might be asking yourself, “Can I get IV sedation?” At Raleigh Dental Arts, we typically suggest reserving IV anesthesia for cases involving complex treatment needs, hybrid dental implant therapy, or other large-scale smile makeovers. It’s also fairly common to see IV anesthesia used by dentists or oral surgeons during wisdom tooth extractions.
Since our hybrid dental implant cases involve replacing all of your teeth at once, there are a lot of planning and implant processes involved. For instance, you might need to have a few teeth extracted and the dental implants placed. And since you’re getting multiple dental implants instead of one here or there, it’s simply easier on you as a patient to feel like you’re napping through the entire process. Being able to place all of the dental implants at the same time ensures an efficient experience that gets you on your way to having a brand new smile sooner, rather than later. Most of our hybrid dental implant cases will involve 4-6 implants per arch, with a fixed prosthesis similar to what a lot of people call “All-on-4” or “All-on-6” dental implants.
Advantages of Dental IV Sedation
Since IV sedation is completed by a licensed anesthesiologist, Raleigh Dental Arts can provide your care in our dental facility, rather than schedule you at an off-site surgical center.
The benefits are twofold. One, you’re eliminating additional costs of care associated with an outpatient surgery and the additional medical staff that it entails. Two, you’re in a familiar and comfortable setting with a team you already know and trust. We’re essentially streamlining your care by merging the two together. By bringing in a licensed anesthesiologist we can provide the safest level of care possible, allowing you to access the treatment that you need.
When you elect to have IV anesthesia, you’re able to complete moderate to more complex cases in just one appointment. Since you’re essentially “napping” through the visit, we’re able to go ahead and schedule various types of restorations or treatments during the same sitting. Typically we wouldn’t do this, as you would be awake and need breaks, or it would be uncomfortable to have your entire mouth numbed at once. But with IV sedation it’s possible to efficiently schedule each of those planned procedures at the same appointment. By the time your anesthesia begins to wear off, the localized numbing medication does too.
Instead of two, three, or four different appointments on separate days, IV sedation consolidates (most of) them into one. There will occasionally be instances where we still need to see you for a follow-up or to allow time for implants to integrate. But when you elect to add IV anesthesia to your care plan, it expedites your overall smile makeover.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Unlike laughing gas, you’ll have a bit of grogginess that can take a few hours to completely wear off. As that’s the case, you’ll need to bring someone with you — usually a good friend or a family member — to drive you home and keep an eye on you as you start to feel like yourself again. Since the drowsiness can last a couple of hours, you’ll need help getting home, picking up any prescriptions, and just settling in. Plus, it can help take the edge off things if you have a friend there with you, especially if you’re a little anxious to begin with.
Most IV sedation appointments are scheduled early in the morning. You won’t want to eat or drink anything beforehand. The reason being if you get a little nauseous because of nerves or medication, we don’t want you to have something in your stomach. By the time your procedure is complete and you’re back home, it will be fine to have something light or a liquid to tied you over. Since you’ll be quite sleepy, you might not think about feeling very hungry anyway.
Another thing a lot of people want to know more about is the recovery. Aside from allowing the anesthesia to fully wear off, your recovery process is the same for that dental procedure as if you hadn’t had any sedation. Since most of our IV cases are for large-scale smile makeovers and hybrid dental implant placement, you’ll probably want to plan on eating softer foods for the first couple of days, just in case your mouth feels a little sore. While a little irritation might be normal for a treatment here and there, you’ll want to give yourself a little extra time to recover when you’re completing multiple treatments all at once. We recommend planning your IV sedation appointment for a day where you have a few days afterward to rest, stay home from work, and just take it easy. Stock up on foods like pudding, mashed potatoes, yogurt, cottage cheese, and similar textures. Also, be sure to have plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated while your body heals.
Is IV Sedation Right for Me?
If you need extensive smile rehabilitation, a cosmetic makeover, hybrid dental implants, or a similar complex need, we encourage you to speak to our Raleigh dentists about dental sedation. While IV anesthesia is just one type of sedation that’s available, it’s also one of the deepest. Meaning you’re unlikely to remember anything about the procedure. We’ll walk you through the screening questions and review your medical background to identify any potential concerns. In some cases we might also want to communicate with your medical provider, just to get a clearance on your health status.
During your sedation conversation, we’ll help you identify whether IV anesthesia is best for your unique circumstances. If it is, we can work up a detailed care plan that reviews all of the considerations that you’ll want to review.
Find out if IV sedation is right for you. Call Raleigh Dental Arts today to request a consultation with one of our leading cosmetic and implant dentistry providers.