A close friend of mine recently expressed fears about her upcoming root canal. She was anxious about the pain she might experience. I assured her that painful root canal procedures are a thing of the past with modern dentistry.
With the latest technology and anesthetics, a root canal (endodontic treatment) is no more painful than receiving a filling. Most root canals can be completed in one or two office visits.
For patients with dental anxiety, there are three levels of sedation available.
Level 1: Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, or, informally, “laughing gas” is safe and effective. Nitrous oxide has been used in Solana Beach dental offices for decades because in many ways it is the ideal mild sedative. It goes to work at the first inhalation, relaxes the patient during the treatment without rendering them completely unconscious, and wears off quickly after the mask is removed. It also requires no needles – an important feature for the needle-phobic.
Level 2: Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedatives don’t start working as quickly as nitrous oxide, but they help most patients achieve a deeper level of relaxation. These medications, however, do not usually produce complete unconsciousness. Thus, oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used in “conscious” sedation. Two common sedatives used by dentists are diazepam and triazolam.
Level 3: IV Sedation
IV sedation produces actual “sleep dentistry.” Most patients are completely oblivious to the dental procedures they are receiving. IV sedation is useful for root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, multi-procedure smile makeovers, and oral surgery.
If you have been neglecting your teeth because of fears or concerns about a particular procedure and have not been to your dentist recently, I encourage you to schedule an exam, cleaning, and consultation today.
We are accepting new patients at Solana Dental Spa and would love to serve you.
Dr. Okan Sihani
Solana Beach Dental Spa
180 Camillia Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92026