Is Sedation Recommended for Root Canal Treatment?

Posted on: April 2, 2019

Sedation makes it easier for people with dental phobias to get the treatment they need. Many people view root canal treatment as something to be terrified of. Even though a root canal treats a tooth by removing injured or infected tooth pulp, many people feel anxious at the very thought of the treatment. Sedation sounds like a great way to get through a daunting dental procedure, but do dentists recommended it? Also, what kinds of situations call for general anesthesia?

What is the purpose of a root canal treatment?

The innermost part of the tooth contains the nerves, connective tissue and soft tissue of the tooth. It can become infected or exposed and damaged as a result of a broken or cracked tooth. To fix the inner tooth while leaving the outer tooth structure intact, dentists will often opt to perform a root canal.

The dentist will drill a hole in the enamel and use the hole to remove the infected or dying tooth pulp. After cleaning out the inside of the tooth, the dentist will restore the tooth with a filling or crown. The part that most people fear is the removal of the pulp because of the nerves contained inside it.

Sedation and pain management for a root canal

Dentists will always inform their patients that root canals are painless thanks to anesthetics. The medication removes all sensation from the tooth for the duration of the procedure. Depending on how comfortable the patient is, the dentist might decide to keep the person sedated as well. Sedatives commonly used while performing root canal treatment include:

Oral sedatives: A dentist may ask their patient to take a pill like Valium before the root canal procedure. When the pill takes effect, the patient will be conscious but drowsy. The medication reduces the patient’s anxiety and causes loss of sensation in the tooth.

Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is inhaled by a patient before a dental procedure. It removes anxiety and keeps the patient relaxed. The gas leaves the patient conscious and amused.

When is dental sedation recommended?

Oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used by dentists to help patients to deal with the anxiety triggered by a root canal. A dentist might also decide to go with general anesthesia instead if the patient needs lots of work done or has special needs like dementia, mental disability or severe anxiety disorder. It should be noted that not all patients are healthy enough to be put under.

A dentist will tell you what kind of sedation will work best

If you desperately need a root canal but the idea of getting one gives you the creeps, come by our practice and learn how painless a root canal really is. Our dentist will answer all your questions and provide sedation if you need it. Your root canal procedure will be done before you know it.

Request an appointment here: or call NY1 Dental Associated, PC at (212) 548-3273 for an appointment in our New York office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sedation Dentist.

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