IV Sedation Dentistry

We recognize that some of our young patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Our team works hard to make sure that your child has a comfortable, positive experience, and that's why we are pleased to offer IV sedation dentistry for those patients needing a little extra comfort before receiving treatment. 

Our office is proud to offer customized IV sedation dentistry that is safe and effective.

There are different types of sedation dentistry, and working together, you and Dr. Shelton will decide on a personalized treatment plan that will give your child the care he or she needs while ensuring comfort every step of the way.

How IV sedation dentistry works

Prior to your IV sedation appointment, the anesthesiologist will call to go over any questions you may have prior to the date of treatment.  When we perform IV sedation, no other patients are in the office for procedures.  Dr. Shelton and her team dedicate all their efforts to only IV patients on these days to make the appointments effecient and timely.  We allow your child to play in the waiting room while the anesthesiologist performs a pre-operative examination.  Prior to starting the IV, the anesthiologist will administer an intra-muscular injection of medicine that will make your child sleepy so that an IV can be started comfortably.  This will be done with the parents holding the child in their lap.  Once the child is sleeping comfortablely, the IV is started.

The anesthesiologist will gently place an IV and administer medication to help your child into a deeper state of relaxation. Once treatment is complete, your child will wake up feeling refreshed, with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile. Using sedation dentistry, we are able to complete all necessary treatment in just one office visit.

Common questions about IV sedation dentistry

We understand that before receiving treatment, you may have many questions about IV sedation dentistry. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about IV sedation dentistry.

  • Will my child feel anything during treatment?

Your child will not be in any discomfort during the procedure.  We still administer local anesthesia as needed for any procedure that would cause discomfort.  The IV is started after the child is sleeping.  

  • Is IV sedation dentistry safe?

IV sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Before starting treatment with IV sedation, Dr. Shelton will talk with you and help you decide if IV sedation is right for your child’s treatment.  

  • How long will it take the sedation to wear off?

The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on the dose received, how long the treatment is, and how quick your child’s body can recover.  Typically your child will begin to wake up immediately after treatment has been completed.  We will continue to monitor your child in the office until they are more awake (20-30 minutes).  By evening, your patient will typically have returned to their normal self.  They will be able to go to school and resume all normal activities the following day.  

  • Is my child a good candidate for IV sedation dentistry?

Any patient with dental anxiety or with complex dental needs is a good candidate for IV sedation dentistry. If your child has any of the following fears or concerns, ask your doctor about IV sedation dentistry as an option for his or her next dental treatment:

  • Extreme dental anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist
  • Fear of needles and/or shots
  • Past traumatic dental experience
  • Can't handle the smells or noises of being at a dentist's office
  • Has overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb
  • Requires complex dental treatment that would require multiple visits without IV sedation
  • Wishes to have a more comfortable dental treatment

Occasionally there are children who are not candidates for IV sedation due to their complex medical history.  If this is the case, we will work to find the best option to complete your childs dental needs safe and effectively.  If you feel that your child could benefit from IV sedation dentistry, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your family’s needs.


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