Many patients now prefer to have more involved procedures under dental IV sedation. A lot of dental practices use terms such as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight sleep” when talking about IV sedation. This can be confusing, because it suggests that IV sedation involves being put to sleep. In fact patients do not technically fall asleep. These terms are more descriptive of deep sedation. Deep sedation is classified as general anaesthesia.
Intravenous Conscious Sedation (IV sedation) is when a drug, usually of the anti-anxiety variety, is administered into the blood system during dental treatment.
You remain conscious during conscious IV sedation. You will also be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist. However, you may not remember much (or anything at all) about what went on because of two things:
IV sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and not being anxious by what’s going on. The drugs used for IV sedation 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 of what happened. Many people remember nothing at all so it may feel as if you were “asleep” during the procedure.
Dr Richard Kozlowski administers IV sedation to patients for different procedures weekly for procedures such as;
- Extraction of wisdom teeth – all four can be removed in one procedure if needed.
- Fillings and tooth extractions.
- Crown preparation work such as root canal
- Dental implants placement to replace missing teeth.
Most dental procedures can be done under IV dental sedation and are good for patients who are anxious or fearful of the dentist or even for children with special needs or for people who would prefer not be ‘aware’ or “I don’t want to know” or have memory of the procedure. Another advantage is that it reduces the gag reflex and more dental work can be done in one sitting, reducing the number of visits you need to make to the dentist.
Dr Richard Kozlowski is Perth’s most experienced sedation dentist and is often booked into other Perth Dental Practices to perform the IV sedation on their behalf.
Leederville dental staff attend annual CPR training by St John of God Hospital.