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Sedation Dentistry – Differences Between Oral and IV

Sedation Dentistry – Differences Between Oral and IV

What is the difference between oral and IV sedation?

An ABSOLUTE ton!! While I do all forms of sedation in my dental practice, I would much prefer IV over oral sedation. Before I discuss the differences, I will discuss the similarities:

1. Both will put the patient in a more relaxed state with possible “sleepiness”

2. Both will produce some amnesia so that the patient has very little recollection of what happened.

3. Both will dull a patient’s perception of noisy drills, painful injections, and having your mouth open for a long time.

So oral can work roughly the same as IV except:

1. It takes much longer to produce sedation through oral (1 hour to 2 hours) versus IV sedation (3 min to 10 min).

2. Oral can last much longer than needed where IV can end as quickly as the procedure is done so the patient is not incapacitated for the duration of the day.

3. It is much easier to treat an emergency or reverse a sedation with an IV vs oral. In oral sedation, each person will metabolize oral medications differently, so it is difficult to predict what it will take to make the patient comfortable. Also, the patient can be over-sedated with oral sedation and much more difficult to reverse since an IV is not started.

These are significant differences between oral and IV. While oral is an acceptable way to provide relaxation to the patient, IV is more efficient, does not last as long, and is ultimately more safer than other forms of sedation. This is also why the majority of specialists such as oral surgeons use IV sedation as a preferred method of sedation!!

Dr. Mike Glasmeier is a 2004 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Dentistry. Dr. Mike also completed his undergraduate work at UK receiving a B.S. in Biology. He received additional specialty training in the United States Air Force from 2004-2005 and was a general dentist in Columbus, AFB from 2005-2007 where he treated many students hoping to become future pilots in the Air Force. He provided a vast amount of services to include routine fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, partial dentures, oral surgery, IV sedation, root canals and many other procedures. He can be contacted at http://www.nashvillefirstimpressions.net.

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