WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IV SEDATION DENTAL AND GENERAL ANAESTHETIC?
A General Anaesthetic (GA) is only provided by specialist anaesthetists with specially trained support nurses in hospital. GA is used when somebody needs an operation. During a GA the patient is given a large volume of intravenous sedatives and breathes anaesthetic gas, this makes the patient unconscious during the operation and paralyses the muscles so the patient does not move their body. A tube connects the patients lungs to an anaesthetic machine that acts as ‘bellows’ and supplies oxygen to the patient throughout the operation. After the operation has finished the patient recovers slowly and goes home later on the same day.
Dental IV sedation (IV) is only provided by a suitably trained and qualified dentist or an anaesthetist in the dental surgery. IV is used when somebody needs dental treatment but they are extremely nervous or the treatment will be difficult to tolerate. During an IV the patient is given a small volume of intravenous sedatives, this causes anxiety relief, muscle relaxation, drowsiness (most patients close their eyes and fall asleep), amnesia (afterwards patients do not remember their dental treatment) and a feeling that time passes very quickly. This safe procedure allows the patient to breathe on their own, swallow and cough. A tube is placed under the nose to allow the patient to breathe additional oxygen throughout the procedure. The patient recovers quickly and goes home an hour after the procedure has finished.