What is IV Sedation?

IV (intravenous) conscious sedation provides an added level of comfort and relaxation for patients who may otherwise have a difficult time tolerating procedures in the dental office.  IV sedation is performed using a combination of anti-anxiety and analgesic (pain controlling) medications administered into the bloodstream through an IV.  IV sedation can aid in alleviating anxiety related to dental fears or phobias and severe gag reflexes among other conditions.  Dr. Ross A. Rickoff has extensive training in administering IV conscious sedation in the dental office setting.  He is currently providing IV sedation for both routine endodontic therapy as well as endodontic surgery.

Prior to undergoing any procedures under IV sedation, a consultation will be performed to evaluate your individual medical history, medical conditions, medications and overall anxiety level.  We will tailor our recommendations to your particular circumstance.  

Advantages of IV sedation include:

  • Ability to titrate or “fine-tune” the level of sedation to the individual patient. 
  • Rapid onset
  • Partial or total amnesia (memory loss) during the procedure.  Though you may not be fully asleep, you will likely not remember much of what occurred during the procedure.
  • Increased pain control.  Local anesthetic (numbing) is still necessary during the procedure, however some of the drugs used to maintain sedation provide additional pain control properties for those hard to get or stay numb. 


While some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, many are in a state of deep relaxation.  Benefits of IV sedation include the ability to maintain your own breathing and respond to verbal commands.  Most patients report not remembering their time in the office once the sedation starts due to the amnesic (memory loss) effects of the anti-anxiety drugs given during the procedure.   After the procedure is complete, we stop the IV and let you rest comfortably for 15 to 20 minutes before you leave our office.  You must arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home from your appointment and remain with you until drowsiness wears off. You should be able to resume normal activities the day after the appointment.

Instructions Prior to Receiving IV Sedation

As with any procedure we perform, your physical safety remains our top concern. To prepare for an appointment in which you will receive IV sedation, do not eat or drink anything for (8) eight hours prior to your procedure, except for prescription medications, unless advised otherwise. While you are under sedation, we closely monitor blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.

Instructions Following IV Sedation

The patient is not allowed to drive home.  Judgment can be affected by medications and it is important for the patient to not drive, operate dangerous equipment, or sign any legal papers for 24 hours after receiving any medications for sedation.