Going to the dentist for many people is an anxiety-ridden task. Simple procedures such as cleanings or check-ups can have many children and adults alike feeling so nervous that they avoid the dentist altogether.

But modern sedation techniques can make procedures on even the most nervous of patients a quick and painless task. With medical technology advancing every year, there are now multiple ways to sedate patients to best fit their comfort level and medical needs. Here are 4 dental procedures that require sedation for their patients:

1. Wisdom Teeth Removal

Though becoming progressively less common, wisdom teeth removal still remains one of the most standard procedures in oral surgery. Though it only takes up to 30 minutes, give or take, oral surgeons still opt for sedation in order to put the patients at ease during and to better access the deep-rooted areas that wisdom teeth may reside in. With the patient under a deep sleep and with the elimination of nervousness, oral surgeons are able to perform the procedure without worry of putting the patient in any severe discomfort or pain.

Depending on the oral surgeon, some prefer an oxide sedation as opposed to an IV. This is something to be discussed when looking for an oral surgeon, and if you have any preferences you can talk with your dentist as well.

2. Root Canals

Also somewhat common, root canals are a dreaded procedure for most. If unhealthy teeth are left to their own devices and not cared for, a root canal might become necessary. While one can conceivably have a root canal performed without a sedative, many would prefer not to.

The more common sedatives for this procedure include an oxide sedative or an oral one. Oral sedatives include anti-anxiety medications such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium. In some cases, your dentist can prescribe these for you before you go in for the oral surgery.

3. Pulling Teeth

Mostly common in younger patients, pulling teeth can sound a lot more daunting than it really is. Many younger patients may have to face this prospect before getting braces or other orthodontic work. Because of the simple fact of its name, pulling teeth can induce severe anxiety in young or even adult patients who may find the whole ordeal terrifying.

Therefore, an oral sedative may be a necessary option for this procedure. As stated above, many patients can be anxious over an impending procedure that it can affect the dentist or surgeon’s ability to perform it. In these cases, an oral sedative will relax the patient mentally and physically enough that a dentist or surgeon need not worry.  

However, keep in mind that sedatives such as Valium will render the patient unable to operate heavy machinery, and they will need to be driven to and from their appointment.

4. Dry Socket and Infections

After an invasive procedure such as wisdom teeth removal, there is a small chance for developing a “dry socket”, or infection. It is important to monitor swelling and body temperature after surgery. If you find the swelling is not going down as soon as it should, you may need to have an additional procedure to drain the socket.

This is not uncommon, but if left untreated, it can result in complications and hospitalisation. A sedative will be required because incisions will be made.

However, the oral surgeon may opt for an oxide sedative in which the patient will be awake. This is determined and could be necessary for a variety of reasons, one of which can be for the patient to heed instructions given to them. If a surgeon opts for an oxide sedative in place of an IV, additional pain medication may be administered. 

If you’d like to learn more about the types of sedation used in various dental procedures or are looking to find an oral surgeon in your area, give our friendly and experienced oral surgeons a call here at Dentrix Dental Care in NW Calgary. We’ll work with you to develop a personalised dental plan, so you don’t have to worry.