Patients who are particularly fidgety may find it difficult to remain still long enough for a more complex treatment, such as a root canal. In these instances, conscious sedation can help the patient get through the treatment more easily.
An endodontist who offers conscious sedation gives patients the opportunity to achieve a state of deep relaxation throughout the treatment. However, patients remain conscious and able to respond to the provider’s instructions. Additionally, the airway is not compromised with conscious sedation. Therefore, conscious sedation is typically regarded as safer than general anesthesia, which could be an alternative for patients who have trouble staying still during treatment.
In the case of a root canal, conscious sedation can be particularly valuable. The procedure is rather intricate and time-consuming, with the endodontist taking care to remove all of the infected pulp material from the tooth’s core. Furthermore, patients may experience some anxiety that could make them even more jittery and less able to sit still. Although this fear of root canal therapy is unwarranted – the procedure is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled – conscious sedation can still help patients overcome it.
Conscious sedation may require some preparation on your part, depending on the delivery method used by your endodontist. For example, if you are relying on an oral sedative, you will need to take it far enough in advance for it to begin to take effect by the time of your appointment. You will also need to make arrangements for someone to transport you to the appointment.
IV sedation requires fasting for a period of time in advance of the appointment.
Most of the drugs used in sedation will still be in effect when it is time to leave your appointment, so you will need to have a responsible adult escort you home and remain with you until the sedatives have worn off completely.
Would you like more information about conscious sedation and how it might help you get through a root canal? Contact our office to ask any questions you may have about this aspect of your treatment.