Guide to Sleep Dentistry (IV Sedation) – Smile Artistry

Sleep Dentistry

Intravenous Conscious Sedation, also termed as “IV sedation” usually involves the injection of an anti-anxiety medication into the blood stream in the process of a dental treatment. Several dental clinics and medical centres may make use of the term “Sleep Dentistry” when referring to IV sedation.

It could be slightly misleading as it indicates that IV sedation puts the person to sleep. These terms best describe the concept of deep sedation, which is categorised as general anaesthesia.

When you’re under IV sedation, you’ll remain conscious, will be able to comprehend what the dentist is saying and can communicate with him in the process. However, you may not recall majority of events happened during the process. It is primarily because of two reasons:

  1. A state of intense relaxation is induced by IV sedation. It channelises a feeling of complete calmness and no disturbance with what is going on in the surrounding environment.
  2. The drugs which are utilised for IV sedation lead to some amount of memory loss (partial or full) for the time period when the effect of the drugs kicks in and till it loses hold. So, it will seem as if the time is passing very quickly and you will not have any clear memory of the procedure. You may feel as if you were “asleep” during the dental treatment or procedure.

Drugs used for sedation in Sleep Dentistry

  • Midazolam and Diazepam

Most commonly, the drug benzodiazepine or “benzo” is used for IV sedation. This is essentially an anti-anxiety drug. Benzos have been administered to have 3 primary effects:

  1. Reduction or minimisation of anxiety
  2. Induction of Sleepiness
  3. Production of either partial or complete amnesia. Total amnesia occurs more commonly with midazolam rather than diazepam

Midazolam is definitely the most commonly sedation dentistry drug. Diazepam is also occasionally used. The former is the preferred choice among doctors because it leaved your system much faster as compared to other drugs.

  • Opioids

Opioids are strong pain-killers and could be utilised in addition to either barbiturates or benzodiazepines. In the first go, the use of these pain-killers may seem attractive because they have the ability to eliminate or minimise pain. However, they are usually taken post-treatment as the pain which might be experienced during the treatment is dealt with by the local anaesthesia.

Find out more about Smile Artistry’s Sleep Dentistry treatments for our Brisbane patients here.