You’re not alone if you feel a little (or very) nervous during dental procedures. According to researchers, dental anxiety (or dental fear) affects about 36% of the population. Sedation dentistry is one of the ways that dentists help patients conquer their fears of dental procedures.
At San Antonio Smile Pros, Dr. Fawzi Hijazi provides hospital services, like IV sedation, in a friendly, cozy clinical setting. IV sedation is the most profound form of conscious sedation in a dental setting. Since this style of sedation is so deep, it comes with a list of precautions to keep patients safe. Here, we’ve outlined the five commandments of IV sedation:
1. Don’t consume anything after midnight.
As a rule of thumb, we instruct that patients do not eat or drink from midnight the night before to the time of the procedure. While practicing self-control can be one of the most challenging parts of IV sedation, it’s designed to protect the patient and stop the body’s reflexes.
One side effect of sedation dentistry is nausea. So, failure to fast can result in vomiting sans the ability to cough it up safely. In a worst-case scenario, the stomach contents could leak into the lungs.
2. Choose a responsible adult to accompany you during and after your appointment.
One of the best features of IV sedation is that patients feel so at ease during their procedures. That said, after a dental procedure with IV sedation, expect impaired judgment, slower reflexes, and not being fit to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours. Therefore, we ask patients to bring a responsible adult on procedure day to check in during the procedure and to drive them home afterward.
3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
On oral surgery day, we suggest wearing loose-fitting clothing that provides access to the arms up to the elbows and comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Part of safe IV sedation is close monitoring. During your procedure at our North San Antonio dental office, Dr. Hijazi will monitor blood pressure and sedation levels to ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible—which requires easy access to the lower arms.
After the procedure, patients might feel a little woozy, so we ask that patients wear shoes with low (or no) heels to prevent tripping, falling, and other avoidable accidents.
4. Be modest with makeup.
Come as you are. IV sedation dulls your reflexes. If mascara, eyeshadow, or eyeliner particles land in your eye during the procedure, you can’t safely blink them out. Plus, we need access to your mouth so that lipstick might smear everywhere as a side effect of surgery. Plus, we ask patients not to wear nail polish for their safety. One component of close monitoring is seeing the color of the natural fingernail to check circulation.
5. Be open and honest about your medical history and needs.
IV sedation is not for everyone, and if you are coming down with an onset illness two days before the procedure, please let us know. A cold, upset stomach, or sore throat should not be dismissed. Depending on your symptoms, we might need to postpone the procedure.
Ease into the Dentist’s Chair with IV Sedation