Twilight Sedation-Intravenous Sedation, Sedation Dentistry

Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)

Our office offers Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” which can help you to be comfortable and calm during your dental procedures. While you are under IV sedation, you will be relieved of the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep, which is why it is termed a “twilight sleep”. This form of sedation offers two benefits, it enables you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may be very uncomfortable for you. 

If you choose the option of intravenous sedation, your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by Dr. Coppin and Dr. Easley, who have received extensive training and certification in IV anesthesia during their 3-year surgical residencies. Having this option in our office therefore eliminates the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same-day surgical facility.


How is IV Sedation Done?

IV access will be obtained through placing a small needle into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will initially be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given. After the vein has been accessed, the needle is retracted leaving only a soft pliable catheter. Most patients find that the catheter is only a minimal annoyance and that after the vein has been accessed they are comfortable. Medication will then be administered slowly and you will start to feel tired and relaxed. Once again, while some patients may sleep throughout the entire procedure, others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all, but will feel significant relaxation.

The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed in a safe manner. Using a slowly administered dose of medication allows for a predictable response; however, at any time a reversal of the drugs can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary. IV sedation is very safe when monitored and administered correctly.

Along with IV sedation there are also different “levels” of sedation available to you in our office. Our office has nitrous oxide “laughing gas” analgesia and oral sedation (a pill you pick up from your pharmacy) or nitrous oxide in combination with oral sedation. All modalities are administered and monitored by Dr. Coppin and Dr. Easley,  in the safety and comfort of our office environment.

Sedation dentistry is also a great option for any patient in our practice, but especially helps to make the dental visit more comfortable for patients with dental anxiety or a severe TMJ disorder.

Dental Anxiety

Dental phobia is often an overwhelming reality for many people. Negative previous dental experiences, fear of needles or drills, and severe gag reflexes are just some of the reasons people feel extreme anxiety when thinking about visiting the dentist.

Our office is committed to understanding the very real nature of your fears. Dr. Coppin and Dr. Easley will take the necessary time to recognize the sources of your fears and anxiety and with the help of our dental team, make you feel comfortable and safe. IV sedation can be a great option for you as it will allow you to experience dentistry in a whole new way. While you are resting in a pleasant sleeplike experience, our doctors and dental team will be hard at work completing your treatment so that you can wake up with everything accomplished and one step closer to the smile you want. 

Patients with Severe TMJ issues

For patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders, staying open for long procedures can be challenging and painful. Even just a routine cleaning or exam in the dentist’s office can be a difficult procedure to withstand the pain caused by extended periods of opening. 

Many patients have found that IV sedation is a great way to be relieved of that discomfort during the surgical procedures in our office. Resting during the procedure allows you to not have to strain your muscles and simply wake up with the procedure completed. We frequently request patients with TMJ disorders use ice and heat packs the night of the procedure to help alleviate any tension in their muscles.

Patients with Disabilities

It may be especially difficult for patients with disabilities to obtain access to proper dental care. Our doctors have substantial experience in treating patients with disabilities and are compassionate and caring. 

For some patients with disabilities, sitting through a long dental procedure can present with significant challenges both for them and (if applicable) for their caregiver. Sedation dentistry allows for these procedures to be accomplished in a relaxed and calm environment where the patient can rest peacefully while our office cares for their dental needs.