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What is Sedation and Anesthesia?
During dental and oral procedures local anesthesia (Novocain) is administered to block
sensations. However, the anxiety that some people have to controlled by administering
sedative drugs, such as Valium type medications. A sedated patient may remember the
procedures, but will be more relaxed. Additional medications such as agents similar to
pentothal are sometimes used to cause anesthesia, which places the patient more deeply
What is IV Sedation?
IV Sedation is the most advanced form of dental sedation.
The technique uses a combination of pain relieving and sedative drugs placed directly in to your vein which renders you completely relaxed and unaware of the
dentistry that is being performed. This technique requires a Conscious Sedation Permit issued by the
Dental Board of New Jersey. Less than 1% of general dentists in New Jersey have a
Conscious Sedation Permit.
I cannot seem to "get numb." Can IV Sedation help me?
Yes it can. Over the last few years, we have noticed in our practice an increase in patients
that have this difficulty. When sedated, these patients have no difficulty in getting the dental
treatment that they need.
I really have a bad gagging problem. Can I be helped?
Yes! When you are under IV Sedation your gag response is GONE. Many patients cannot take
X-rays because of gagging. If this is the case, we take the necessary X-rays under IV Sedation
without any problems.
I've seen other web sites for dentists that use pills for sedation.
What is different about your office?
Oral Sedation (pills) is helpful only during the easiest of dental procedures.
These drugs do not have the same powerful sedative effects as IV Sedation.
The oral sedative method is simple and requires the dentist to have NO special
license, NO special insurance, and most importantly, very little training.
The drugs used in oral sedation have no pain control properties. Many dentists
advertising this technique on the internet have not been performing
it for a long time. Dr. Knapp has extensive training in
Does it hurt? Do I feel pain?
The drugs used in IV Sedation are powerful pain relieving drugs which make you
comfortable and free of pain.
Do a lot of people feel like I do?
There are many people, just like you, that have had bad experiences at a dental office.
We have found that this makes them delay urgently needed dental care, care that will prevent
pain and the loss of their teeth. Patients that have been
sedated for dental care state that they wish they would have known about this type of
sedation years before, because if they had, they would not have neglected their teeth.
Can all work be done in one appointment?
We try to do as much treatment as possible in one visit. Our average sedation appointment
is 2 1/2 hours. However, some appointments last up to 4 hours. What we can accomplish with
each patient, and how many visits it takes, is determined after a complete dental examination.
Is sedation just for scared people?
Sedation can be used on any type of patient. While the vast majority of patients that we
sedate have a fear of dentists, there are many that simply want to be very comfortable during
treatment. Many times our patients can not afford taking time off work, so we sedate them to
allow us to do a large amount of treatment in a long appointment and have the patient very
comfortable during the entire appointment. Other times we have people that have severe gag
responses and require IV Sedation in order to tolerate treatment.
Does insurance pay for IV Sedation?
Our experience is that insurance companies are not concerned with your fear of
dentists and the need for advanced sedative techniques. Most do not pay a benefit.
Do I have to be in good health?
Your health is only one factor in deciding if IV Sedation is right for you.
However, IV Sedation is a technique which can be performed on people that have a
variety of medical conditions. The only way that we can give you an answer to this
question is to have Dr. Knapp review your written medical history.
What happens if something goes wrong?
IV Sedation does carry some risks. Dr. Knapp will be happy to explain these in
detail at your first visit to our office. However, we continually practice our
emergency procedures so that we are prepared for anything that might occur.
How long will I be off work?
Each patient is different, so this is a difficult question to answer.
However, we find that patients only need to take off the day of the procedure.
Most are working the next day.
Why don't more dentists do IV Sedation?
New Jersey law requires a dentist to have a special permit to perform IV Sedation.
The training is extensive to qualify for this permit. To maintain the license
requires specialized courses on sedation which are costly and take additional time
away from the office. Many dentists cannot afford the time and financial commitment
This information is reprinted form a brochure produced by American Dental Society of
Anesthesiology, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The brochure addresses the most
commonly asked questions regarding anesthesia. The decisions of which type of sedation/anesthesia
will be determined by you in consultation with your doctor.