Common Questions about Anesthesia

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide anesthesia-related care in many different health care settings. As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs practice with a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. CRNAs are qualified to make independent judgments regarding all aspects of anesthesia care based on their education, licensure, and certification.

CRNAs use their high level of training combined with the compassion learned from taking care of patients at the bedside to provide an exceptional level of comprehensive anesthetic care. A CRNA has excellent critical thinking skills, attention to detail, calm logic, and quick action in an emergency.

CRNAs are certified after passing the National Certification Examination. CRNAs follow a recertification program, that focuses on lifelong learning, as required by The Continued Professional Certification Program.

Moderate IV sedation works as a form of conscious sedation to help you feel relaxed during your dental care. This method does not put you fully to sleep, but once the sedation is administered you will feel a state of relaxation and become unconcerned and less aware or your surroundings. You are able to breathe independently without assistance.

This method involves administering your sedation intravenously, through a vein. This delivery system makes the medication work faster and allows continuous adjustments to the amount of sedation needed.

Many patients find that IV sedation helps them to have a more positive experience at the dentist, even if they do not suffer from dental anxiety. If you gag easily or if your teeth are extremely sensitive, being sedated may make it easier for you to be treated. Some patients may also like to receive IV sedation if they are having multiple cavities filled. Restless patients who need to have a lot of dental work done in a single visit can benefit from IV sedation.

Moderate IV sedation is available for any procedure you might need to undergo at your dentist’s office, including routine examinations and cleanings.

Having a CRNA as a member of the team allows for everyone caring for the patient the ability to do their specific jobs: the dentist concentrates on the dental work, the dental assistant concentrates on their job, and the CRNA monitors the patient, their vital signs and ensures that the level of sedation is appropriate for the patient and the type of procedure that is being performed. CRNAs are trained in advanced airway management and diagnosis and treatment of emergencies in the dental office.

A brief period of amnesia after the procedure may follow the administration of IV sedation. Occasional side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and/or nausea, and vomiting.

As with anything we do in life there are risks, but anesthesia is extremely safe. The highest level of safety is always the number one priority. With the presence of an experienced CRNA to administer the sedation and monitor the patient’s vital signs, sedation has proven to be safe. The CRNA will discuss your medical history and any medications you’re currently taking to make sure that it’s the right choice for you.

Unfortunately, dental insurance companies do not cover the cost of IV sedation for dental procedures. As disappointing as it may seem, this out-of-pocket expense should never keep you from seeking treatment. Avoiding the dentist can have damaging effects on a person’s oral and overall health.

Final payment may be made in cash, debit card, credit card, or HSA/FSA card to the CRNA at the dental office and is due at the time that services are rendered.

More information about payments and deposits

If you have additional questions about IV sedation for your dental procedure give me a call at (804) 647-5306. I am happy to answer your questions and to help you determine if IV sedation is right for you.

Lorie Hilliard, CRNA is very thorough in her evaluations. She will get to know your needs and will include them in order to provide a safe anesthetic. It puts me at ease that she is board certified and has many years of experience.
Gregory N.