Patients who have severe apprehension to any aspect of dental care, an uncontrollable gag reflex, general difficulty getting numb, or medically compromised and thus stress-averse, may benefit from having their root canal treatment performed under IV Sedation. Anxiety and stress are eliminated and there will be essentially no memory of the procedure.
Once you have been examined and the need for a root canal has been established, Drs Nakata and Kyomen can arrange to have a Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist participate in the next step of your root canal treatment. The anesthesiologist will be right there in the room for the duration of the procedure, monitoring your heart, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and respiration with state of the art equipment.
All pre-operative needs (such as medical history review, fasting requirements), post- treatment expectations and recommendations, financial arrangements, and any other questions you will have will be addressed by the anesthesiologist prior to the treatment appointment. Let us know during your initial endododontic consultation visit, if you are interested in IV Sedation, and our experienced staff will contact our anesthesiologist and get the process going for you.
Oral Anti-Anxiety Medication
In certain select cases, Drs. Nakata or Kyomen may opt to prescribe oral medications for patients requiring help coping with their apprehension with root canal treatment. Often, the drugs (such as Valium, Ativan, or Halcion, for example) can produce a calming or relaxing effect, and will have a rapid onset (30-60 minutes) but will tend to linger in the body for many hours afterwards.
The effectiveness of oral anti-anxiety drugs is relatively unpredictable, compared to IV sedation. Every person has a unique level of susceptibility or resistance to these drugs. Low doses are prescribed for safety reasons, and patients should not veer from the recommended dosages. Many of these drugs affect the brain cells, and whether a patient is heavyset or petite has no bearing on how the dose should be increased or reduced. Rates of absorption of the medication vary among individuals, too, so rapidity of the onset of desired effects will be different for everyone.
If oral anti-anxiety medications are to be considered, we may need to consult with your medical doctor and/or previous dental offices from which you’ve received such drugs. Therefore, please bring up your interest in oral anti-anxiety medications at the initial consultation appointment, so that we can make the proper inquiries and provide you with a prescription before your treatment visit. It is very important that you avoid mixing these drugs with other depressants (such as alcohol), follow dosing instructions carefully, and procure a driver to bring you to the office and drive you home.