Endodontic Procedures: Three Sedation Options for Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment might be necessary if the pulp in your tooth has become infected or inflamed. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves and soft tissues which are essential for the nourishment of teeth. Unfortunately, the living nature of this material makes it vulnerable to infections. The potential causes include dental decay, cracked tooth structure and even recurrent treatments. If you have such a condition, your dentist will recommend removal of the infected material through root canal therapy. In general, this procedure is straightforward and does not present significant risks. However, most patients are terrified of the treatment and the prospect of pain. If you are concerned or anxious about your endodontic therapy, consider discussing these outlined sedation options with your dentist. 

Nitrous Oxide Gas

Numerous patients experience some form of anxiety before root canal treatment. This issue can be attributed to the common but untrue belief that excruciating pain accompanies the process. The lack of relaxation can cause unnecessary distress for the patient. Moreover, the procedure might become unnecessarily long due to the feelings of anxiety. If this is your case, your dentist can administer nitrous oxide. This gas is inhaled before the procedure; it reduces mild anxiety and allows relaxation. The recovery time is short, and there are no prolonged effects on the mental state. 

Oral Sedation

Oral conscious sedation has gained popularity in dentistry due to its effectiveness. The results of this form of sedation product are stronger than those of nitrous oxide. The pharmaceutical is typically taken some time before the procedure, as directed by the dentist. Once the pill takes effect, the patient will become relaxed and feel somewhat drowsy. However, if you take this medication, you will remain conscious during the root canal therapy. The goal of oral sedation is to help patients cope with anxiety and fear while allowing them to interact when necessary. If you are experiencing relatively significant distress, this might be the right sedation choice.

Intravenous Anaesthesia 

General anaesthesia is not necessary for regular patients during root canal procedures. However, there are special cases in which the dentist might recommend this choice. For example, if you have a mental or physical condition which would result in issues such as uncontrolled movement, serious injury, panic or extreme distress, this form of sedation might be the safest option. Administration of the drug will produce unconsciousness, allowing you to remain unaware during the process. 

You should discuss your concerns and history with your dentist for best choice of sedation.