What are the most commonly used medications in IV sedation?


Typically there is a combination of medications(sedatives and narcotics) used to achieve sedation in order eliminate anxiety as well as providing pain control. The types and amounts greatly depend on the length of the procedure, the medical history of the patient, and the types of procedures.


Usually a combination of sedative(benzodiazepines) such as Versed or Valium will be given to help with anxiety control. In addition, a pain medicine is administered along with the sedative to help with pain control but to also further assist with the sedation process. Usually, Demerol or Fentanyl are the pain medications administered IV.


Other IV meds sometimes used in IV sedation are Phenergan(to offset nausea from the other medications), and Dexamethasone (steroids that control postoperative swelling/inflammation). Propofol, is also a commonly used IV medication to assist with the sedation but is only indicated in very short procedures and has very limited use in dentistry because of the dangers if not used appropriately.


IV sedation is very safe an in fact, is much safer than oral sedation as IV sedation relies on medications being placed through the IV so the effects can be felt much faster, be better controlled, and easier to reverse should an emergency occur. Ask your dentist about the types of sedation he/she offers and how it can benefit you!

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