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At Altitude Endodontics, our professional staff is dedicated to patient comfort. While most non-surgical treatments can easily be performed with local anesthesia, some treatments may require something stronger, such as nitrous oxide, oral anxiolysis, or IV sedation.
Additionally, patients with severe anxiety may require stronger anesthesia even for routine procedures. Your comfort is our priority, and because we want you to take good care of your teeth, we take the steps necessary to ensure you’ll come back again. Your dental health is a critical part of your overall health, and it can be done in a comfortable way.
For more painful treatments or to help alleviate dental anxiety, however, there are other options.
Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as ‘laughing gas,’ and it is the subject of many comedy shows. It’s a good sedative to use because it is inhaled which means the dose you receive is easily controlled, and it wears off quickly. Most patients who receive nitrous oxide sedation can drive themselves home after the procedure is complete and the gas wears off. It is also very effective at alleviating your stress as the colloquial name suggests.
Oral anxiolysis simply refers to oral medications that decrease your anxiety. Many of these are benzodiazepines such as Valium. While these drugs can induce sleep at higher doses, when used carefully at lower doses, they can alleviate patient anxiety. Of course, as with any medication, you should be sure to talk to your dentist about any health conditions that would make using these types of drugs inadvisable, particularly if you have heart problems or kidney or liver failure.
Another common option for alleviating patient anxiety or for more complex procedures is that of intravenous, or IV, sedation. Your endodontist can continually adjust the level of sedation when it is administered intravenously. IV sedation can be used to simply help alleviate your anxiety, in which case it will be applied in a moderate manner, or it can be used to induce general anesthesia, which will render you completely unconscious during the procedure. General anesthesia is often used for complex or extremely painful procedures.
At Altitude Endodontics, your comfort is our priority. If you’re fearful of an upcoming procedure, contact our office today, and we will explain just what we can do to alleviate your anxiety. We’re happy to answer all your questions.