Sedation Dentistry

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we offer a variety of sedation dentistry options to help our patients receive the treatments they need, including:

IV sedation is often utilized as a “middle ground” between oral medications and general anesthesia.

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a valuable tool for our dentists. It can be used to safely induce both minimal sedation as well as deeper levels of sedation. IV sedation is very flexible and a great option for children who aren’t good candidates for conscious oral sedation.

Ask your dentist if IV sedation may be the best choice for your child.

How Does IV Sedation Dentistry Work?

IV sedation causes drowsiness by administering medications intravenously (into the bloodstream) through a small needle that is placed in a vein, usually in the back of the hand or an arm. Every effort is made to minimize any pain associated with inserting the IV catheter. The patient will be examined to determine the optimal site for IV placement before attempting insertion. The catheter is also very small and most patients feel little more than a quick pinch before the medicine begins to work.

With IV sedation, the medications begin to work just moments after they are administered. While receiving IV sedation, patients breathe on their own but are given supplemental oxygen through a small nasal cannula that rests in the nostrils.

When is IV Sedation Recommended?

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we will typically use deeper IV sedation for teenagers who are having their wisdom teeth extracted. Additionally, shorter procedures that would be uncomfortable without sedation are ideal for the quicker onset and recovery time offered by IV sedation therapy.

Our #1 goal is to make sure that your child is as safe as possible.

What Our Patients Say

“We always have a great experience at Children’s Dentistry! My daughter is nervous coming to the dentist, but Arianna always makes it such a great experience for her and talks her through everything!”

– Megan V.

Call Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville at (434) 817-1817 or contact us online to learn more about how IV sedation dentistry can help your child.

Is IV Sedation Dentistry Right for Your Child?

Before recommending any form of anesthesia or sedation, we’ll carefully review your child’s current health and their health history. We may recommend the use of IV sedation for your child if:

  • He or she isn’t able to tolerate dental procedures, exams, or treatments even with the aid of lighter sedation
  • His or her dental apprehension is so severe that other methods of calming and relaxation are insufficient
  • He or she is affected by a moderate or severe gag reflex
  • He or she requires an extensive amount of dental work
  • Previous attempts at treatments with oral conscious sedation have been unsuccessful
  • Your child needs sedation but you do not want your child to have general anesthesia

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we know that every child is unique.

We will thoroughly evaluate your child’s specific situation before making a recommendation. We will consider his or her dental needs and health status and we always make a recommendation that is in your child’s best interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does IV Sedation differ from General Anesthesia?

When general anesthesia is used, your child is completely “asleep.” IV Sedation allows us to have precise control over the level of sedation your child experiences. With IV Sedation your child can be either very drowsy or in a deeper, more relaxed state, depending on his or her needs. Learn more about the different forms of sedation dentistry on our blog.

Is IV Sedation recommended for children on the Autism Spectrum?

Depending on the amount of dental work to be completed and their willingness to tolerate needles or shots, we may recommend IV sedation to help them receive the dental care they need.

We know that every child affected by Autism is unique and that sometimes it is difficult for them to adjust to a new environment or to tolerate dentistry. We will work specifically with you and your child to tailor our treatments and recommendations to meet your child’s needs.

Do you accept insurance or Medicaid?

Yes! We accept Medicaid and many other insurance plans, including those from:

  • Anthem
  • Metlife
  • Guardian
  • United Concordia
  • Delta Dental
  • Cigna

What do I need to prepare for my child’s appointment?

Your child’s dentist will provide you with a complete list of pre-operative and post care-operative instructions, which may include:

  • Discussing your child’s complete medical history with the dentist to determine if IV sedation is the best option for them.
  • Providing a list of all medications your child is taking (prescription and over the counter)
  • Following the dentist’s instructions to take or avoid your child’s regular medications
  • Notifying us of any acute change in your child’s health (such as developing a cold or flu)
  • Avoiding food and drink a few hours before and after your child’s appointment
  • Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to assist in the application of patient monitors
  • Bringing a favorite toy or blanket for your child to help relieve their anxiety on the day of surgery
  • Watching for nausea, extreme drowsiness or other side effects after your child’s treatment

How long does IV Sedation take to wear off?

IV Sedation not only starts working almost as soon as the medications are administered, but it also generally wears off very quickly. Your child will be recovered enough from the effects of IV sedation within an hour of the end of his or her procedure to be able to safely go home. Your child may still be a little drowsy for several more hours the day of the procedure.

Call (434) 817-1817 to Schedule Your Appointment

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