What to Expect with IV Sedation Dentistry

Sit back and relax in the dentist’s chair.

Do you suffer from dental anxiety? Are you scared of visiting the dentist or nervous about an upcoming dental procedure? Do you want to complete a lot of dental work in just one visit? It’s time you learn about IV sedation.

Ericson Dental is one of the few dentists in the Lompoc & Santa Barbara area to offer IV sedation dentistry. We took the necessary steps to become qualified to perform this service because we want our patients to be as comfortable as possible. When you’re happy, we’re happy.

Learn more about IV Sedation, including what you can expect. And be sure to ask us about sedation options when you make your next appointment.

Why are people scared of the dentist?

Dental anxiety is a very real condition. An estimated 75% of patients experience some level of fear when visiting the dentist.

Generally speaking, dental anxiety is driven by three causes.

1. Bad past experiences at the dentist

If you’ve ever been to a dentist that didn’t take the time and effort to provide the best possible experience for patients, you might feel scarred from the memory. Maybe you felt pressured into a treatment, didn’t understand what to expect, had a negative outcome, or just didn’t feel welcome. These kinds of experiences can make you distrustful and nervous of the dentist.

2. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown

Many people don’t like the feeling of laying back in a chair — especially when they’re unsure of what exactly is about to happen. Especially if you’re about to get a treatment you’ve never had before, you might feel a little nervous about what to expect, or worried it could be painful.

3. Embarrassment about dental health

If you know your dental health isn’t what it should be, you might be worried that you’ll “get in trouble” with your dentist. Or if you haven’t had an appointment in a very long time, you might feel nervous about what might be wrong and want to stick with an “ignorance is bliss” mindset.

At Ericson Dental, you never have to worry about feeling judged by your dentist. No matter how long it has been since your last dentist appointment, we’re here to welcome you without any judgment. What matters is that you’re taking control of your health now.

How to overcome your fear of the dentist

If you suffer from dental anxiety, getting over this fear won’t happen magically overnight. However, there are some easy steps you can take to get in the right mindset and feel confident and relaxed.

First things first, you need to find the right dentist. This will make all the difference in your experience. A good dentist will…

  • Never make you feel bad about a dental problem
  • Never pressure you into a treatment or spring an unexpected treatment on you
  • Always explain what to expect from a treatment and offer simple answers to your questions
  • Always provide a relaxing, friendly, and positive experience

If you suffer from dental anxiety and have a larger dental treatment coming up, there’s one more thing you should look for in a good dentist — IV sedation dentistry.

All about sedation dentistry

Various sedation techniques are used in dentistry to help patients relax during a procedure. Sometimes, this approach is called “sleep dentistry.” However, only general anesthesia will ensure you’re totally unconscious and deeply asleep. Instead, most sedation options are meant to help you fall into a relaxed, sleep-like state.

There are various types of sedation used in dentistry, but IV sedation is arguably the most effective and also much more specialized.

What is IV sedation?

With IV sedation, a sedative is administered through a vein in your arm. This allows the sedation to work much more quickly and also allows your dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation to meet your exact needs.

In terms of the level of sedation, IV sedation falls right in the middle:

  • Minimal sedation — Oral and inhaled
  • Moderate to deep sedation — IV Sedation
  • Total sedation — General anesthesia

With this method, you’ll be kept conscious throughout your appointment, but will be generally unaware of what’s going on. The deeper sedation you’re under, the less aware you’ll be. Even better, you won’t feel anything that’s going on. Afterward, you won’t remember anything about your procedure.

What to expect with IV sedation

Your experience with IV sedation will vary slightly from dentist to dentist, but here at Ericson Dental, our IV sedation process is incredibly simple and focused on you.

First, we’ll ask you to avoid food and beverages after midnight the night before your appointment. When you arrive at our office, we’ll start your appointment by helping you get cozy in your chair with a cozy blanket or heated towel.

We’ll start your IV and you’ll drift off into a deeply relaxed state right away. You might feel a little loopy or “out of it” and you may even fall asleep, though we can easily rouse you if needed. Our team will carefully monitor you the entire time to ensure your relaxation.

Before you know it, your appointment will be done! You won’t remember anything about the treatment. Depending on your level of IV sedation, you’ll likely feel the lingering effects for at least a few hours if not the whole day.

You’ll need someone to drive you home and monitor you for a couple of hours. By the next morning, you’ll feel back to normal!

Ask about sedation options at Ericson Dental

Ericson Dental is proud to be one of the only licensed dentists to perform IV sedation in the Lompoc and Santa Barbara area.

We’re here to make sure you can receive the treatment you need without stress and anxiety. Plus, we’ll be able to treat you more quickly and efficiently, leading to a better overall dental experience and optimal results.

We’d love to tell you more about IV sedation and answer any of your questions. Contact us today to learn more.

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