Advances in Dental Anesthesia

Despite advances in modern dentistry, patients are still avoiding it. Why? Dental anxiety affects millions of people and makes them afraid to visit the dentist. This anxiety keeps a significant number of people from the preventative dental care that helps them stay healthy and keep all their teeth. If patients need emergency procedures, which can be more invasive, fear and discomfort levels can be elevated. For people who struggle with dental anxiety, there are several options available for anxiolysis, sedation and anesthesia that can help.

At Advanced Endodontics, Oral and Facial Specialists, we offer several dental anesthesia solutions that can alleviate the anxiety and pain that you might associate with dental procedures like root canal therapy or oral surgery.

The process would start with an evaluation of your specific case and needs, followed by a thorough explanation of your specific procedure and discussion of necessary steps to take before and after your appointment. Our staff will communicate with your team of doctors to determine which medication or treatment will be best for you since sometimes a medical clearance from your primary physician, cardiologist or medical specialist is necessary. Our knowledgeable doctors and staff will talk you through your best options for treatment from local to general anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is administered through an injection at the affected site and provides numbness of that area only. With this technique you will remain totally conscious throughout the procedure, and the anesthetic is only administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anesthetic is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery and endodontic procedures.

Oral sedation is when you are prescribed a sedative and depending on the drug and dosage it can range from as little as easing anxiety away to being sleepy or groggy enough to take a little nap during the procedure. Intravenous sedation ranges between moderate sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia. During the moderate sedation you receive the sedative drug through a vein, it takes effects within seconds. This method allows the doctor to continually adjust the level of sedation to what some people call “twilight”. The medications administered during this type of sedation are a sedative and a strong pain medication. With the deep sedation and general anesthesia, the medications given will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

Any of these options are available for all oral surgery procedures and root canal treatment. Not everyone is a good candidate for IV sedation, but our doctors will consider your complete medical history while discussing it with you.

Our team understands the fears and discomforts associated with dental procedures. We always want our patients to know that they are in good hands while we work to restore their beautiful, healthy smile.