IV Sedation in Fort Lauderdale

Excellence in Dentistry -  - Cosmetic Dentist

Excellence in Dentistry

Cosmetic and General Dentistry serving Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale by the Sea

As many as 1 in 5 adults suffer from moderate to severe dental anxiety. If worrying about pain or discomfort prevents you from getting essential dental procedures, contact the office of Nancy Rotroff, DDS, MAGD, and Gerard Wasselle, DMD, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The expert dental team offers a variety of sedation dentistry solutions so you can relax during your treatment. Dr. Gerard Wasselle, DMD is certified to administer intravenous (IV) sedation for our patients in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so you can relax during your dental treatment. Find out more by scheduling an exam with our office today.

IV Sedation Dentistry Q & A


What is IV sedation? 

If you have been put off having your dental work done because it gives rise to stress or fear, IV sedation may be right for you. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help you relax during your dental procedure.

What is the difference between IV sedation and general anesthesia? 

With IV conscious sedation you are awake during your dental treatment but will feel no pain. During general anesthesia, you are completely asleep and cannot be aroused – not even by painful stimulation. Additionally, general anesthesia requires additional support for breathing, and an anesthesiologist is required to monitor all vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse.

IV sedation puts you in a much safer and more comfortable “semi-awake” state of reduced anxiety. After the procedure, you will most likely have little or no memory of the treatment because of the amnesic effect of the medications used to provide the sedation. While under sedation you are able to respond to verbal commands or to a light physical touch. With IV conscious sedation you need no medical assistance to maintain adequate breathing and heart function.

Can any dentist perform IV sedation? 

While most dentists can administer minimal sedation such as a nitrous oxide or oral sedation, only a small percentage of dentists are licensed to administer IV conscious sedation. Some dentists use a dentist anesthesiologist who is specially trained to give all levels of sedation and anesthesia to both children and adults. At Excellence in Dentistry, Dr. Gerard Wasselle is licensed to perform IV conscious sedation dentistry and has logged hundreds of cases.

A dentist who is IV certified and licensed to administer IV sedation has received additional specialty training and has been legally certified by the state’s Board of Dental Examiners to deliver medical drugs that alter a patient’s consciousness for a comfortable, pain-free treatment.

Who is a candidate for IV sedation dentistry? 

Sedation dentistry may be right for you if you:

  • Have dental phobia or anxiety
  • Are concerned about pain or discomfort
  • Have trouble getting numb
  • Are having a lengthy dental procedure, like getting several dental implants or extractions/wisdom teeth extractions
  • Have an excessive gag reflex

How does IV sedation work? 

During IV sedation, an anti-anxiety drug is administered via IV into the blood system while treatment is completed. This route of administering medication is more efficient and achieves a deeper level of relaxation. Additionally, IV sedation allows a more precise amount of anesthesia to be administered which makes it safer than oral sedation options. Because medications are delivered directly to the bloodstream, IV sedation not only produces sedation quickly but also allows patients to recover from sedation quickly. During IV sedation, our doctors assure your safety by monitoring your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation. The medication puts you in a deep state of relaxation, although you will be conscious and aware of your surroundings. You will probably remember little or nothing about the procedure because of the short-term amnesia it creates.

Will I feel groggy after my treatment? 

After IV sedation, it’s normal to feel groggy. To ensure your safety, ask a family member or trusted adult to drive you home afterward. Ideally, someone should stay with you for several hours as the effects of the medications wear off. You might feel exhausted for the remainder of the day, so we recommend that you drink plenty of water, relax, and rest.

Why should I consider IV sedation? 

Most patients find that sedation provides a more positive experience during their dental procedure, even those who suffer from dental anxiety. Patients who gag easily or have extremely sensitive teeth may choose to be sedated in order to complete their dental treatment. Some patients select IV sedation if they are undergoing a long procedure. If you need dental work and want to find out if sedation dentistry is right for you, call our office to schedule an exam with the team.