Tips For A Successful Dental Visit

It is estimated that around 40% of Canadians suffer from dental anxiety, which can range from generalized to extreme fear. Dental anxiety is complex and multifactorial, with the fear often stemming from childhood experiences.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may actively seek to avoid going to the dentist even if there is a pressing need to. This avoidance can seriously affect your overall oral health. Thankfully, there is a way for people with dental anxiety to feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair: dental IV sedation.

In this blog post, we will highlight everything you need to know about dental sedation, including how to prepare for your dental appointment. Let’s get started!

What Is Dental Sedation?

IV sedation dentistry is a form of conscious sedation, designed to make patients feel comfortable and relaxed during their appointments. It does not put patients to sleep fully, rather it makes them less aware of their surroundings and what the dentist is doing. Under IV sedation, you will still be able to respond to verbal commands.

You may choose dental sedation if you suffer from dental anxiety (as noted above), require dental surgery or multiple procedures, or are unable to sit through a full procedure.

How Does Dental Sedation Work?

With this form of conscious sedation, the sedative medications will be delivered directly to your bloodstream through an IV line. Throughout the procedure, the dentist is able to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels. They are able to adjust the sedative dosage at any time (as well as use reversal medications if necessary).

IV sedation dentistry starts working quickly and you will feel minimal to no pain throughout the procedure. The sedation creates a long period of amnesia for the patient. This means that you won’t be able to remember the procedure afterward—and harbour no negative memories.

Things You Need To Know Before Your Appointment

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are fully prepared for your IV sedation dentistry appointment. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn below.

Be Hydrated

It’s important to drink a lot of fluids the day before your scheduled appointment. Note that you should refrain from drinking water up to two hours before. Also, avoid consuming alcohol for 24 hours before your procedure.

Can You Eat Before Dental Sedation?

Because IV sedation can sometimes cause feelings of nausea during the procedure, it is best to arrive for your appointment on an empty stomach. Avoid consuming any foods for six hours before your procedure.

An exception can be made in situations where a patient is required to take specific medication in the hours before their surgery (this should be taken with only a small amount of water).

In terms of smoking, you should refrain from this for at least 12 hours before your appointment. Smoking can interfere with breathing while a person is receiving IV sedation. It also increases the risk of heart issues, both before and after the procedure.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

When planning what to wear for your upcoming appointment, it is best to choose items that are comfortable. Loose-fitting clothes are best. Useful tips to take note of here include:

  • Don’t wear clothing that might be difficult to clean
  • Don’t wear clothing that will be difficult to remove afterward
  • Avoid wearing jewelry, including facial and tongue piercings
  • Avoid wearing tight sleeves (short sleeves are best)

On the final point, this is recommended as it allows easy access to your arm. If you are unsure about what to wear or bring with you, our team will be happy to discuss this with you further.

Prepare A Playlist

We highly recommend that you listen to music during your procedure, so that you can pass the time in the chair pleasantly and remain calm and relaxed. You will be able to listen to music through headphones, so take some time to prepare a playlist of your very favourite songs!

Don’t Drive After Dental Sedation

It is important that you organize for someone to collect you following your appointment, as you should refrain from driving. For the next 24 hours, you should avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, consuming alcohol, and undertaking strenuous activity. If you have any plans scheduled for the day of or after your appointment, you should cancel them and allow yourself to rest and recover.

Dental Sedation And Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

In general, it is advised that you avoid IV sedation dental procedures while pregnant unless it is an emergency. That is to say, anything that can wait should wait.

If you are pregnant, it is best to speak to our team about your specific case and we will be able to advise on what is best for you (and your baby).

How Can Highbury Park Dental Help You?

Highbury Park Dental can help you overcome your fear of the dentist with IV sedation dentistry. We are committed to providing the highest level of patient care. If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear or have had a negative experience in the past, IV dentistry is highly recommended for you.

As the above information shows, dental sedation makes it easy for patients to undergo dental procedures, allowing them to remain comfortable and relaxed at all times. If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry or book an appointment, contact our experienced and friendly team today.