What do we mean when we say “sedation”?
For any Texas resident in Frisco, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Little Elm, and The Colony, it can be confusing to understand what physicians mean when they say they offer “in-office IV sedation”. With the advances in modern medicine, physicians have many ways to make sure their patients are as comfortable as possible during surgery or procedures for diagnosing medical conditions. One common type of pain control is called sedation, which relaxes you and sometimes makes you fall asleep. Sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care, conscious sedation, or twilight sedation, typically is used for minor surgeries or for shorter, less complex procedures, when an injection of local anesthetic isn’t sufficient but deeper general anesthesia isn’t necessary. These procedures might include some more complex surgery procedures like biopsies or involve the use of a scope to examine the throat to find and treat medical conditions such as cancer.
An analgesic is a medication used to achieve analgesia, or pain relief, and is often combined with sedation. Procedures using sedation and analgesics may be performed in a hospital or in an outpatient setting, such as a same-day surgery center, your physician’s office, or a dentist’s office.
How do sedation and analgesia work?
Sedation and analgesics are usually provided through an IV placed in a vein. Depending on the procedure, the level of sedation may range from minimal (you’ll feel drowsy but able to talk) to deep (you probably won’t remember the procedure). Moderate or deep sedation may slow your breathing, and in some cases, you may be given oxygen. Analgesia may also contribute to drowsiness. But even with deep sedation, you won’t be unconscious, as you would be with general anesthesia.
Most patients wake up quickly once the procedure is over and the medications are stopped. Possible side effects include headache, nausea, and drowsiness, but you will likely experience fewer effects than you would from general anesthesia — and you’ll probably recover faster and go home sooner.
Sometimes IV sedation and analgesics will be combined with other types of pain control — such as local anesthesia, which involves one or more injections to numb a small area of the body, or regional anesthesia, which numbs a larger part of the body, such as from the waist down.
What are the levels of sedation?
The level of sedation a patient experiences depends on several factors, including the type of procedure you’re having and how your body responds to anesthesia. Your age, medical condition, and health habits may also affect the type of anesthesia you’ll receive. Regardless of the level of sedation, it’s important that a physician anesthesiologist be involved in your anesthesia care. A physician anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesia, pain management, and critical care medicine.
The main levels of sedation are:
- Minimal – Minimal sedation will help you relax, but you will likely be awake. You’ll understand questions your doctor is asking and be able to answer as well as follow directions. This level of sedation is typically used when your doctor needs you to be involved in the procedure.
- Moderate – You will feel drowsy and may even fall asleep during the procedure. You may or may not remember some of the procedure.
- Deep – You won’t actually be unconscious, but you’ll sleep through the procedure and probably will have little or no memory of it.
Why do patients prefer in-office IV sedation?
Compared to other forms of sedation dentistry, the IV is more beneficial because:
- IV sedation has a more limited impact on your body’s natural processes, but still eliminates your ability to feel pain. You will be able to breathe or even move on your own. This will also make it easy for the physician to identify any abnormalities during the procedure and respond swiftly.
- The dentist can perform multiple procedures in one visit. Patients in need of substantive dental care can be treated in fewer visits. This can increase the comfort that patients feel as well as making costs to patients much more manageable.
- Since there are fewer side effects compared to other methods of sedation, there is less discomfort during recovery after your procedure.
If you live in Frisco, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Little Elm, or The Colony and your dentist has recommended that an oral surgeon help you with a health concern, NexGen Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are here to help. No matter what your surgical needs may be, our caring, patient-focused staff is ready to help you on your journey to wellness, one appointment at a time. We’ll work with your dentist to understand your case and address any and all concerns you have – our ultimate goal is your comfort, and we mean that in every sense of the word. Contact us today at our Frisco, Texas office to make your oral surgery consultation appointment – we’re looking forward to meeting you!
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