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Intravenous sedation: what is conscious sedation?

Dental and maxillofacial surgeries help a lot of people improve their quality of life. Whether for the placement of dental implants, orthognathic surgery or wisdom teeth removal, these procedures have several benefits.

However, the thought of surgery can be stressful for some patients, especially if they have never had surgery before. Most maxillofacial surgeons therefore offer intravenous (IV) sedation, also known as conscious sedation.

Here is more information on this technique.

How does IV sedation work?

Intravenous sedation is the intravenous administration of a sedative medication, such as anxiolytics or analgesics. This technique is used to bring the patient into a state of deep relaxation during dental or maxillofacial surgery, such as wisdom teeth extraction. The patient remains conscious, hence the common term “conscious sedation”.

Conscious sedation vs local anesthesia

IV sedation is not the same as anesthesia. Sedation is used to reduce stress, not pain. Administering an anesthetic so the patient does not feel anything is essential for any surgical procedure. Sedation is therefore always used in combination with local anesthesia

Using conscious sedation to reduce the stress and anxiety of patients

The main reason IV sedation is used during surgery is to make patients with surgery-related stress or anxiety feel more at ease

Many people dread dental surgery. Sedation therefore allows patients to be completely relaxed during the procedure but remain conscious and responsive to the surgeon’s questions.

Despite being able to answer, the patient often has only a vague recollection of the procedure, since one of the medications causes amnesia. The patient often has the impression that the operation lasted only a few minutes, which also helps with post-operative stress.

How to be well-prepared for IV sedation

Will you be undergoing dental or maxillofacial surgery with IV sedation in the near future? Here is how to prepare yourself well to make sure that the sedation works properly and your surgery goes smoothly.

Fast before dental surgery

It is important that you fast for 8 hours prior to your surgery appointment. This means you should not eat during this period. You are allowed to drink water up to 2 hours before the procedure.

Dress appropriately

To make the IV and monitor placement easier, you should wear loose clothing on the day of the surgery. Not only will this make the surgeon’s job easier, but it will also ensure that you remain comfortable and breathe easily throughout the procedure. 

Notify your surgeon if you take any oral medication

It is important to notify your surgeon if you take any oral medications to make sure that it is safe to take on the day of the sedation. Most oral medications can be taken the day of surgery, but you are still better off confirming with your doctor.

IV sedation: a safe procedure to ensure your well-being

In conclusion, IV sedation involves administering a sedative to reduce the stress and anxiety of a patient before dental surgery. This is often referred to as conscious sedation because the patient remains lucid under its effect. It is also important to remember that sedation is not an alternative to anesthesia, but rather a complement to ensure the patient’s well-being and comfort.

Do you have any other concerns regarding IV sedation? At Clinique Evoro, our maxillofacial surgeons will answer you as quickly as possible.

Contact us or visit our website to learn more about our various maxillofacial surgery services!