What Are the Risks of IV Sedation?

IV sedation is commonly used to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during their dental treatment. While certain risks do exist, such as nausea or allergic reaction, they are rare. At Gulch Dental Studio, a licensed doctor routinely administers IV sedation and monitors patients' breathing and other critical signs of well-being to ensure safety. The team at our Nashville, TN, dental practice has the knowledge, skills, and experience to minimize the already low incidence of IV sedation risks

Patient who has been administered IV sedation.
Patients can feel more relaxed and comfortable when administered IV sedation.

Short-term Side Effects

IV sedation may pose short-term side effects for some patients, including:

  • Drowsiness: The most common side effect, drowsiness may last for a day or two, which is how long it takes for the medications to fully exit your system.
  • Dry mouth: Patients may experience dry mouth as a result of sedation medication, which can be compounded by the fact that your mouth will be open during most of your oral procedure.
  • Nausea and vomiting: The effects of IV sedation on the brain and gastrointestinal system may induce nausea or vomiting. Certain patients are at a higher risk, such as those who are prone to motion sickness.
  • Headaches: As sedation medications exit a patient’s system it can cause headaches. This can be exacerbated by dehydration or low blood sugar, since patients have likely not had any food or drink for hours before their procedure.
  • Allergic reaction to sedative drugs: Allergic reactions to sedation medications are rare and may be confused with common side effects. Allergic reactions can range from those minor and local to anaphylactic reactions that are systemic, severe, and potentially lethal.
  • Bruising at the insertion site: Even the most carefully inserted IV may cause bruising, especially for patients who bruise easily.

Risks for Pregnant Women

IV sedation is typically not recommended for pregnant women since some sedatives can negatively affect fetal development. Any medication that can pass through the placenta has the potential to cause developmental and nutritional problems. Of the three trimesters, the second is typically the safest to receive sedation, and is often restricted to nitrous oxide. Sedation may complicate early fetal development in the first trimester. Certain drugs may also promote premature labor, making sedation unfavorable to pregnancies in the third trimester.

Preventing Complications

To reduce the chances of nausea, patients should not eat or drink anything (including water) for at least six hours prior to their appointment. Unless specified by your dentist, heart and blood pressure medicines taken on a routine basis should be continued without interruption.

The staff at Gulch Dental Studio is licensed to provide IV sedation and can mitigate risks by closely monitoring breathing, blood pressure, and other vitals.

Non-prescribed aspirin, ibuprofen and any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines should be avoided for one week prior to surgery. Patients should talk to the dentist about all medications they are taking, including blood-thinning medications and medications for Type 2 diabetes. Patients should also alert the dentist to any past problems with sedation.

You should have an adult accompany you to surgery and remain with you for 24 hours following surgery. Patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Patients should also refrain from driving a vehicle or engaging in activities that require alertness for 24 hours after their procedure.

A Safe IV Sedation Experience

The experienced staff at Gulch Dental Studio is licensed to provide IV sedation and can mitigate risks by closely monitoring breathing, blood pressure, and other vitals. Learn more about how IV sedation works and how we can deliver a safe experience by using our online form to send us a message.

Gulch Dental Studio Team

Gulch Dental Studio

Gulch Dental Studio is a state-of-the-art practice utilizing the latest technology and techniques to enhance your smile. We offer a range of services, including:

Book an appointment by requesting a consultation online or by calling our Nashville office at (615) 953-3068 today.

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