“What’s the difference between IV sedation, oral sedation, and general anesthesia?”

I’m glad you asked! As a sedation dentist, I have the option of using various types of sedation, and while I sometimes recommend oral sedation to calm a person’s nerves, my preferred method is IV sedation, especially for extremely anxious dental patients. Why? Because, after much research, training, and experience, I believe IV sedation is the safest, most beneficial to the patient, and most effective sedation option for a person who is afraid of the dentist. It’s also great for people with physical concerns about sitting in the dental chair for long procedures. And IV sedation allows me to perform many procedures in one visit, so the patient doesn’t have to endure multiple appointments.

Extremely anxious or phobic dental patients who want a relaxing dental visit may consider general anesthesia (which I do not offer) or IV sedation. With general anesthesia, the patient’s breathing is controlled by an endotracheal tube placed into the windpipe. With IV sedation, the patient breathes naturally. With both general and IV sedation, the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure safety and comfort.

While a patient doesn’t go “completely to sleep” with IV sedation, he or she is kept in a twilight state of consciousness. In most cases, the patient remembers little or nothing of the visit afterward.

If you live near Wilkes Barre, Scranton, or Trucksville, PA, schedule a personal consultation with me, Dr. James DeFinnis. I’m a certified and experienced sedation dentist, and I will be happy to answer all of your questions. If you don’t want to come into my office, feel free to email me at appointment@backmountaindental.com or call 570-763-4360.

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