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Sedation in Endodontics

October 9, 2020
Female dentist examining female patient's teeth with dental tools

Many patients are nervous at the prospect of endodontic treatment. This is understandable; everyone knows what to expect when they see the dentist, but most people don’t make regular visits to the endodontist and that alone is enough to make you feel a bit anxious. It doesn’t help that there are so many misconceptions about root canals either. 

With sedation dentistry, we can make sure you’re feeling calm and comfortable during your procedure. We offer a few different sedation options at our endodontic practice.

Types of Sedation

Our doctors will work with you to decide the best form of sedation for your needs. We evaluate a number of factors, including your level of anxiety, your overall health, your medical and sedation histories, and the treatment you require.

Inhaled Sedation

Inhaled sedation refers to nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”. Nitrous oxide takes effect quickly and wears off just as fast, so there are no long-lasting side effects. Inhaled sedation is extremely safe and very effective—you’ll feel calm and relaxed, but you’ll still be fully conscious. We use inhaled sedation in conjunction with injected local anesthetic to ensure that you feel no pain during your procedure.

After an endodontic procedure with inhaled sedation, you will be able to drive yourself home. Although most side effects from nitrous oxide are not serious, some patients may experience nausea, lightheadedness, headaches, and a feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs.

Conscious Oral Sedation

With conscious oral sedation, you’ll be prescribed a single sedative pill that you’ll pick up from your local pharmacy. Before your endodontic procedure, you’ll take this medication as instructed and it will help you feel relaxed throughout your appointment. Some patients doze off under this type of sedation, but most stay awake. Unlike inhaled sedation, oral sedation does not wear off quickly, so it’s important to have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

The side effects of conscious oral sedation are similar to those of nitrous oxide. They include feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness, and nausea. These side effects last longer than those of nitrous oxide, so you may need to arrange to take the rest of the day off from work or school after your endodontic procedure if you choose this form of sedation.

Do You Need Sedation Dentistry for a Root Canal?

Many patients are surprised by how comfortable the root canal experience is compared to what they were expecting. The advanced endodontic techniques we use combined with local anesthetic injections mean that modern root canals are no more painful than getting a cavity treated. That said, if you are feeling nervous about your root canal, that’s what we offer sedation for—we want all of our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during their treatment.

Learn More About Sedation in Endodontics

If you need endodontic treatment and you’d like to find out more about the sedation options offered by our practice, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us today at one of our five locations to schedule an appointment.

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