IV Sedation: A Safe and Effective Way to Ease Dental Anxiety

IV Sedation Blue Ash Dentist Batavia Dentist

If your palms start sweating and your pulse starts racing at the sound of a dental drill, you’re not crazy—and you’re not alone. To help his patients overcome the anxiety of dentist visits, Dr. Moorehead offers IV Sedation...

If your palms start sweating and your pulse starts racing at the sound of a dental drill, you’re not crazy—and you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is real, and it’s more common than you might realize. Some dentists estimate that dental anxiety results in as many as 20 percent of patients avoiding the dentist until it’s absolutely necessary. Some patients avoid the dentist entirely, even when they’re in pain.

To help his patients overcome the anxiety of dentist visits, Dr. Moorehead received advanced post-doctoral training and certification in IV sedation. Also called sleep dentistry or conscious sedation dentistry, IV sedation injects small amounts of relaxation medication into a patient until the patient has fully relaxed into an almost sleep-like state. The intravenous nature of this approach means that the medication begins to work quickly, and patients awake with little to no memory of the procedure and virtually no pain.

“My goal in obtaining certification was to help remove a major barrier that keeps patients from seeking necessary dental treatment,” says Dr. Moorehead, who is one of just a few general dentists in Cincinnati to offer IV sedation.

Unlike oral sedation, IV sedation allows Dr. Moorehead to continually adjust the level of sedation throughout the procedure, if adjustments are needed. Patients’ vitals—including breathing, oxygenation, heart rhythm, and blood pressure—are continually assessed on a state-of-the-art monitor to ensure a safe procedure.

 “IV sedation is appropriate for patients with a sensitive gag reflex, patients with disabilities or sensitive teeth, patients who are undergoing long surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth removal or dental implants, or even just for those who experience anxiety during a simple cleaning,” says Dr. Moorehead. “IV sedation can be used during almost any office visit, for any reason.”

Dr. Moorehead says that IV sedation has become increasingly popular at Moorehead Family Dentistry, with multiple patients requesting the option each month. “Patients appreciate having the option of this service,” he says. “It’s very rewarding to see patients be free of fear, be completely relaxed, and have dental work done that they may have been putting off for a while.”

As an additional perk, IV sedation is covered by most dental insurance benefit plans.

“It’s normal to experience some apprehension about going to the dentist, especially if you had a negative experience at the dentist as a child or if you’re heading into an extensive procedure,” says Dr. Moorehead. “But we want all patients to feel completely comfortable in our office—no matter how big or how small their treatment may be. IV sedation is a safe and effective option to help patients overcome their fear of dental visits and receive necessary treatment.”