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Dental Anesthesia

Are There Sedative Options For a Root Canal?

04/12/2011

Question:

Can you please tell me if there are dentists who do a root canal using a sedative? I am allergic to Novocain and some forms of Lidocain (which is what they typically use). I just had 4 extractions by an oral surgeon (# 7, 8, 9 & 10). I am waiting for the gum to heal before implanting the teeth.

I was told by my regular dentist that tooth # 31 needs a root canal. I am also deathly AFRAID of all dentists to the point of shaking, crying, and vomiting. Thankfully, I am comfortable enough with the surgeon and regular on to have gotten this far.

I am supposed to see an Endodontist in 3 weeks? Any suggestions or help would be gratefully welcomed!

Answer:

There are some dentists who are trained in IV sedation and some who use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedatives as well. These may all be acceptable.
 
However, with your level of anxiety, you may need to be asleep or at least deep sedation which requires the dentist to have a general anesthesia permit.

Most oral surgeons have this kind of training but for procedures other than oral surgery, you will have to contact a dentist anesthesiologist. These dentists complete a 2 -3 year anesthesiology residency and go to other dentist's offices to provide only the anesthesia, like in the operating room. You may find a dentist anesthesiologist at www.asdahq.org.

If you find a dentist who does IV moderate sedation, that might work as well but you will still be awake. Hopefully you will be relaxed enough, but still awake.

The best way to find one is to ask your dentist who does this in your area or call various dentists until you find someone who does or can refer you to someone who does. Some state dental board web sites list those dentists with both IV conscious sedation and general anesthesia permits. This may be another way to locate someone who can help.

Good luck.

For more information:

Go to the Dental Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University