It’s natural to want your visit to the dentist to be pain free. In the case of some treatment, or when your mouth is particularly sensitive, avoiding pain may require some additional help. Dentists have different anesthesia and sedation techniques they can use to help their patients feel comfortable and have a pain-free experience during their procedure. Here are the sedation dentistry options available in Calgary.

Techniques for Pain-Free Dentistry

To ensure you don't feel any pain during your dental work, your dentist or specialist has a number of methods that can help you relax and feel comfortable:

Local Anesthesia

Your dentist may use local anesthesia to numb your mouth. This technique works by blocking the nerves that send pain and sensory signals to your brain. Your dentist might use a topical anesthetic in a cream or gel form to first numb the surface area before injecting a local anesthetic. Often, injectable anesthetics are used when filling cavities, treating gum disease, or preparing teeth for crowns.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is commonly used to reduce anxiety during dental treatment. This is administered to the patient through a small nasal mask. Patients can expect to feel relaxed, but they will remain conscious through their procedure.

Oral Sedation

To help with anxiety during a dental procedure, your dentist can also offer you sedative medication in the form of a pill. You will take the pill shortly before arriving at the dentist’s office so the effects have started by the time you get there.

Intravenous Sedation

Another common method of anxiety management at the dentist's office is intravenous sedation. It involves a dentist directly injecting a sedative drug into a vein, causing a deeper form of sedation. You may not be aware of what is going on, and the dentist may keep you in the chair longer to monitor your recovery as you wake up. If you are having IV sedation dentistry in Calgary, you should bring a friend or family member to escort you home as the effects may take time to fully wear off.

General Anesthesia

This method involves being asleep for the entire procedure. Specially trained professionals will administer the medications and monitor you throughout the entire procedure.

There are also non-medical ways to help support pain management and reduce anxiety without sedation.

Relaxation techniques. Studies have shown that practicing relaxation techniques helps reduce pain and anxiety levels in patients. There are many types of relaxation strategies. Some of the more common are included below.

Guided imagery. This is the technique of imaging a pleasant experience or a particularly soothing environment. By concentrating on creating as much detail as possible, your mind becomes absorbed in this task rather than focusing on what the dentist is doing.

Deep breathing. This technique involves breathing deeply and slowly, which floods the body with oxygen and other chemicals that work on the central nervous system and improve your comfort.

You should discuss your concerns with your dentist to decide if sedation dentistry in Calgary is right for your needs.