IV Sedation FAQ

Our team is always available to ensure patients feel prepared, informed, and comfortable with in-office IV sedation. If you have questions about sedation in your procedure, check out the IV sedation FAQ below. Call our office to speak with one of our team members for any other information.

IV Sedation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are my options for sedation?

No sedation or just local anesthesia (numbing shots). Local anesthesia has a numbing effect, and it is applied directly to the treatment area to eliminate any pain. It does not affect your consciousness and is often combined with nitrous oxide or IV sedation. Your doctor will administer local anesthesia in the form of a numbing jelly or through a syringe, or both, to ensure you have no sensation around the treatment area. 

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas puts you in a euphoric state while diminishing pain sensations. However, you are fully aware of your surroundings and what is happening to you.

IV sedation – There are different levels of sedation from being partially aware or in a twilight state  (conscious sedation) to completely asleep with no memory of the procedure (general anesthesia). Our doctors will factor in your medical health, type of procedure and preferences in determining what is best for you.


Do I need to be sedated for my procedure?

Oral surgery is invasive and sedation allows your procedural experience to be much more pleasant and tolerable, especially if you suffer from dental phobia or anxiety. Typically, we recommend IV sedation for longer procedures such as removing all four wisdom teeth. Having an IV also allows us to deliver medications to minimize postoperative pain and inflammation and help prevent infections.

What does twilight IV sedation feel like?

IV sedation is referred to as “twilight sleep” because you are in a half-sleeping dream state while you are technically conscious. As soon as the medication kicks in, you will feel deeply relaxed, anxiety-free, and comfortable. Your worries and concerns will seem miles away. While under the effects of twilight sleep sedation, you will effortlessly respond to questions or requests from your surgical team. However, like a dream, you will not remember your experience in surgery once you recover from the sedative.

How long does it take for IV sedation to kick in?

Sedation is administered through an IV line that delivers the drugs directly into your bloodstream. Once the medication is administered, you will feel it kick in within a few seconds. We continue to monitor and adjust medication delivery throughout your surgical procedure to ensure you remain in a controlled state of sedation.

Do you feel pain with IV sedation?

While under IV sedation, you will not feel or remember any pain, discomfort, or unpleasantness. Twilight sedation uses a combination of medications that block the pain responses to your brain and induce a euphorically peaceful state of mind and body.

Why do I need an IV and does it hurt?

The IV is placed in a vein in your arm or hand and is used to deliver all your sedation medications. We use a cold, numbing spray that lessens the pain from inserting the IV. Most do not feel it going in. Only a soft plastic catheter is kept in your vein and the needle is completely removed. We recommend that you adequately hydrate the night before your procedure so that your veins are easier to access.

What are the side effects of sedation?

Once your procedure is complete, your doctor will take you to a recovery room where you can regain consciousness under the supervision of your surgical team. As you recover from the effects of IV sedation, you may experience some temporary side effects:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Shivering
  • Bruising or swelling around the IV drip location
  • Difficulty urinating

How long does it take to recover from sedation?

The effects of IV sedation begin to wear off as soon as the medication in the IV drip is removed from your arm. Within 24 hours, all effects of the medication will subside, and many patients feel back to normal within hours. We recommend taking a full 24 hours of rest and recovery upon your release before returning to your regular routine.


Who provides the sedation and is it safe?

Our oral surgeons have extensive training in delivering sedation or anesthesia in a hospital setting. They have licensed life support providers (ACLS, BLS) and are prepared for any emergencies. Our facilities are examined and permitted by the dental board to deliver general anesthesia. We are kept to a high standard for safety, like a hospital. This includes appropriate monitoring of the patient before, during and after sedation.

Our oral surgeons deliver the majority of their own sedation with the help of DAANCE-certified surgical assistants. However, we do work with anesthesiologists for young children, special needs patients or complicated/extensive procedures.

Do you have other questions about IV sedation? Call our office today and speak with a team member for more information on IV sedation.