Sedation Dentistry Chattanooga TN: IV Sedation vs General Anesthesia

Avoiding the dentist due to anxiety can lead to serious problems if the teeth and gums go neglected. Even those who visit a dentist for regular cleanings may suffer dread at the prospect of undergoing dental procedures. Today, Sedation Dentistry Chattanooga TN offers a solution to remove physical pain from dentist visits by helping patients to relax throughout procedures. This month, we look at the differences between IV sedation dentistry and the use of general anesthesia, which can often be confused.

What is IV Sedation?

sedation dentistry chattanooga tnThe initial evaluation for all patients of Ocoee Oral Surgery includes a discussion of available anesthesia options, which local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), conscious sedation (twilight sleep), and general anesthesia.

Using Intravenous Anesthesia involves giving a patient a sedative through a vein, which works more quickly than an oral sedative and can be adjusted by the oral surgeons as needed for a procedure. Patients can remain conscious during the procedure yet feel completely relaxed in a semi-awake state and have no memory of the dental procedure after it is completed. Another benefit of sedation dentistry is suppression of the gag reflex for easier access to areas affected during dental treatment.

IV Sedation vs General Anesthesia

Most people are aware of General Anesthesia from visiting a friend or family member in the hospital who is recovering from an extensive surgical procedure. If a patient suffers from severe anxiety, it might seem like the most preferable option to “go under” and be unconscious during a procedure. However, extreme care must be taken to constantly monitor breathing, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and fluid levels during the process due to risk of complications.

General Anesthesia also usually involves the administering of a sedative through a vein but with the addition of inhaled gasses. Patients remain completely unconscious so they are unable to respond or feel any pain during a medical procedure. This is achieved by depressing the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Following the consumption of medicine to relax the throat muscles, a tube is placed through the mouth into the windpipe to keep oxygen flowing during surgery.

General anesthesia is generally only used if the patient has a high tolerance for the medicines used in IV sedation, for extremely anxious individuals, or for more extensive surgeries. It is not recommended for minor surgery or cases where numbing a small part of the body would suffice.

IV sedation dentistry also presents fewer risks of complications or side effects than General Anesthesia. However, you should discuss your individual situation with Dr.’s Hunter and Paul McCord before your dental procedure at Ocoee Oral Surgery.

IV Sedation typically involves a shorter recovery time than oral sedation or the use of general anesthesia. Anyone visiting a loved one after surgery in the hospital will notice disorientation and confusion after awakening from the use of General Anesthesia, and it can also result in side effects like dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, sleepiness, muscle aches, itching, and shivering.

A Focus on Safety and Patient Comfort

During the patient consultation, it’s important to review a patient’s medical history and any past experiences while under anesthesia. We also need to know about health conditions such as a history of smoking, diabetes, drug allergies, seizures, obstructive sleep apnea, and any history of anesthesia use.

Providing safe IV Anesthesia begins with the qualifications of our Cleveland TN Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. We discuss these qualifications, as well as the certification of our assistants, and the emergency equipment used in our office on this website and urge anyone considering Sedation Dentistry Chattanooga TN to take this into consideration when choosing a dentist.

Dr.’s Hunter and Paul McCord are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Ocoee Oral Surgery’s Surgical Assistants are Certified Anesthesia Assistants by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.


How Long Does IV Anesthesia Stay in Your System?

During a dental procedure involving the use of IV sedation dentistry, Dr.’s Hunter and Paul McCord and their well-trained staff monitor patients continually with state-of-the-art instruments and advanced techniques so they remain in safe hands. An injected sedative generally takes effect in 5 to 15 minutes, with effects that last between 1-6 hours depending on how it is administered.

Take the First Step to An Anxiety Free Visit and Learn More about Sedation Dentistry Chattanooga TN

Before any procedure, the surgeons will completely review what to expect and how to prepare. To set up an initial evaluation, call Ocoee Oral Surgery at (423) 479-8544 or email us at [email protected]. Our office is located at 2222 Chambliss Avenue NW, Cleveland, TN 37311.


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