I need sedation for routine dental care, and now my new dentist says I need a root canal and four fillings. They gave me nitrous oxide for this past visit, but that’s all the dentist offers, and I will need more potent medication for a root canal and fillings. During Covid, my anxiety over other things increased my dental phobia. Last week I had my first dental appointment since 2019. Unfortunately, I was so concerned about seeing a dentist that I didn’t ask about the kinds of sedation the dentist offers. I can’t get through a root canal on nitrous alone. Should I ask the dentist for something stronger or switch to another dentist? Thank you. Wesley
Thank you for contacting Dentistry by Brooksher in Baton Rouge with your sedation dentistry question. Millions of patients have dental anxiety or phobia and want sedation for routine dental care.
Can You Ask Your Dentist to Increase the Sedation Level?
If you want to increase your sedation level for non-routine dental procedures, you can ask a dentist what levels of sedation they provide. Dentists who only offer nitrous oxide must have moderate-sedation training before administering oral conscious sedation.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dentist must complete the following training to provide patients with moderate sedation:
- A comprehensive moderate sedation training program that meets the ADA Guidelines for Teaching Pain Control and Sedation to Dentists and Dental Students, or
- An advanced education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation that includes comprehensive and appropriate training to administer and manage moderate sedation according to ADA guidelines, and
- Current Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers certification, and
- Current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS or equivalent) certification, or
- An appropriate dental sedation/anesthesia emergency management course that matches the ACLS recertification requirements cycle
Schedule a Sedation Dentistry Consultation
Unfortunately, if a dentist only offers nitrous oxide and that is not enough for your anxiety level, you must find another dentist with training in moderate sedation. We recommend scheduling consultations with at least two dentists before you select a provider. The benefits of consultations include:
- Getting acquainted with the dentist
- Experiencing the office environment
- Explaining your dental anxiety and triggers
- Confirming that the dentist can meet your sedation requirements
- Reviewing your dental history and discussing your treatment options
Best wishes, Wesley, for successful consultations and sedation care that allows you to relax and restore your oral health.