IV Sedation

Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)

Our office offers our patients the option of Intravenous Sedation, also referred to as Dental Intravenous Anesthesia, or “Twilight Sedation,” for their dental treatment. This is what sets our office apart from other dental practices; it is our niche if you will.

Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures. Your treatment can be completed for you under intravenous sedation if you so desire. Intravenous sedation or “IV sedation” (twilight sedation) is designed to better enable you to undergo your dental procedures while you are very relaxed. It will enable you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may be very uncomfortable for you. The IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep – a “twilight sleep”.

If you choose the option of intravenous sedation your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by Dr. Chowning, therefore eliminating the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same-day surgical facility.

How is the IV Sedation Administered?

A thin needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. At times a patient’s vein may not be able to sustain a needle for the length of the procedure. In this case, the medications will be administered and the needle retrieved. Both scenarios will achieve the same desired level of conscious sedation. Once again some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all.

The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed. With IV sedation, a constant “drip” is maintained via the intravenous tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary. IV sedation is very safe!

Along with IV sedation, there are also different “levels” of sedation available to you in our office. There are nitrous oxide analgesia and oral sedation or nitrous oxide in combination with oral sedation – basically, we can tailor the anesthesia to your need or desire. Once again, all modalities are administered and monitored by Dr. Chowning in the safety and comfort of our office environment.

Sedation dentistry is also a great option for the elderly, the disabled, or simply- the fearful!

Sedation Dentistry for the Elderly

As we age, our oral health becomes more important than ever. Periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss, which affects nearly every part of our daily lives. To lead full and active lives, we need our teeth and gums. They allow us to enjoy food, support speech, and good conversation and facilitate digestion. Dr. Chowning is dedicated to treating elderly patients with care and commitment to comfort and health.

Elderly patients as a group tend to avoid dental visits for a variety of reasons, including more pressing medical concerns, anxiety about treatment, the hardship of transportation, or fixed incomes. Once their oral health has reached an unmanageable point, fear and embarrassment further keep these patients away from the dentist.

For elderly patients embarrassed or fearful of their current oral state, sedation dentistry provides the opportunity for Dr. Chowning to treat these conditions while the patient remains relaxed and unaware until “awaking” to an improved oral state!

Sedation Dentistry for the Disabled

It may be especially difficult for people with disabilities to obtain access to proper dental care. They must find a dentist who is skilled and compassionate, and who can provide services for which some dentists may not be qualified. At Timberlake Dental, we provide the expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and dedication to assisting special-needs patients necessary for ensuring great oral care for our patients.

Disabled patients may face added challenges in maintaining their oral health. Their disability may make it difficult to brush or floss regularly; they may also suffer severe gag reflex, or dry mouth as a result of medication. Dr. Chowning meets these challenges with sedation dentistry for the disabled. Dr. Chowning is skilled in anesthesia for special-needs patients and can ease the fear associated with out-of-control oral hygiene with one visit.

Sedation Dentistry for the Fearful

Dental phobia is a real, often overwhelming reality for thousands of people. Negative previous dental experiences, fear of needles or drills, and severe gag reflexes are just some of the reasons people feel extreme anxiety when thinking about visiting the dentist.

If you suffer from dental phobia- fear no more! At Timberlake Dental, we are committed to understanding the very real nature of your fears. Not only will our staff treat you with delicacy and care, but IV sedation will allow you to experience dentistry in a whole new way. While engaging in a pleasant sleep-like experience, Dr. Chowning will be hard at work making sure you “wake up” with the results you desire.

Is IV Sedation Safe?

IV sedation is perfectly safe when administered by a highly trained professional dentist that has reviewed your medical history before approving you for the sedative. While IV sedation is a deeper form of sedation compared to other sedatives, it is safe for use in those in good overall health. 

During your procedure, we will be there to monitor your vitals with special equipment the entire time. IV sedation can vary greatly in dosages so if you would just like a lower dose for a smaller procedure that will help you relax we can administer a dose that will relieve your anxiety without making you so drowsy that you fall asleep. 

This way, you can be alert and respond to questions. Alternatively, we can administer a larger dose for more invasive procedures so that you don’t need to be aware of your surroundings.

Who Is a Candidate for IV Sedation?

During your consultation, we will review your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for IV sedation. 

Those with certain medical conditions, of advanced age, taking certain medications, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those with allergies may not be good candidates for IV sedation. 

However, patients who are in good overall health, aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, are not allergic to the sedative, and have dental anxiety are great candidates for dental sedation. 

Dental sedation is also beneficial for patients with special needs, physical disabilities, low pain tolerance, strong gag reflexes, and mobility issues. Sedation can be administered to patients of all ages as long as we have reviewed their medical history and approved them for IV sedation.

What Are the Benefits of IV Sedation?

IV sedation works rather quickly. From the time it is administered, it takes effect immediately to relieve feelings of anxiety and stress. Other sedatives take up to an hour to kick in and may require you to take the sedative before you get to your appointment.

Another benefit of IV sedation is that the dosage is so variable, which enables us to administer a small or large amount depending on the severity of your anxiety and how invasive the procedure is. 

When you are under IV sedation, it makes it easier for the dentist to get more work done in fewer appointments since you will be in a very relaxed and cooperative state. Patients who have experienced trauma in the dental setting will be pleased to find out that this sedative will ensure that they have no memory of the appointment at all. 

IV sedation has an amnesiac effect and even though you may be aware of your surroundings during the appointment, you won’t remember it afterward. This can help to reduce future anxiety in anticipation of dental appointments.

This sedative puts you into a sweet spot of not fully unconscious but you’re still in a dream-like state. Unlike general anesthesia, you will not require breathing assistance via a tube in your windpipe. You will retain your ability to breathe automatically.