3 Methods Used in Managing Pain During Oral Procedures
Many people avoid visiting the dentist because of the fear of pain. However, modern dentistry has developed successful pain management techniques to make oral procedures less painful. Here are three methods your dentist might use to manage pain during in-office oral procedures.
1. Sedation Techniques
Sedation therapies help patients relax while the dentist works in their mouths. There are different levels of sedation: minimal, moderate, deep, and general. General sedation is rare and mostly used on young children or those who cannot cooperate. Discuss your needs with your dentist to determine which option is best for you.
2. Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a type of minimal sedation. A mask delivers the gas to the patient in an oxygen mixture, causing the brain and body to relax. This is one of the most common methods of sedation for oral procedures. There are many advantages to nitrous oxide sedation during oral surgery.
The gas takes effect quickly and wears off quickly, so patients don’t feel dopey or sleepy. Nitrous oxide sedation is also one of the safest methods of controlling pain, with almost no side effects. The amount of medicine delivered is easily adjustable, so doctors can quickly ease patients’ distress. Once the gas is working, dental surgeons use topical and injectable anesthetics to make the procedure pain-free.
3. Conscious and Oral Sedation
For procedures that require more pressure, like root canals, your dentist may suggest conscious sedation. A combination of medications is delivered to the bloodstream using either an intravenous line or a shot into the muscle. Patients will feel drowsy and may think they are sleeping. During sedation, it is common to experience slurred speech, but these effects are not serious and fade quickly.
Oral sedation is another option for more flexible pain management. Your dentist may choose to sedate you using a combination of medications taken orally. Typically, a dose of anti-anxiety medication is given to the patient, and within 30 to 60 minutes, the patient is relaxed enough to tolerate oral procedures. This method works well for those who want minimal to moderate sedation while avoiding needles.
Don’t avoid getting the dental treatment you need because you’re afraid it will hurt. Talk to your dentist about options for managing pain during oral surgery. Sedation techniques, nitrous oxide sedation, and conscious and oral sedation are three effective methods your dentist may use to make your oral procedure as pain-free as possible. The LANAP and Implant Center provides these pain management techniques and can help you determine which option is best for you.