Paying a visit to the dentist isn’t the most enjoyable activity on most people’s “to do” list, but it’s one of life’s necessary duties, so people get through it one way or the other. The good news, however, is that today dentistry is practiced at a very sophisticated level, meaning that routine dental visits are smoother and less painful than ever.

A Less Painful Procedure

Still, even though dental visits today tend to go quickly and efficiently, especially with the use of sophisticated imaging techniques that can pinpoint problems well in advance, many people still feel a lot of anxiety about going to the dentist. Some procedures (like getting cavities filled or larger procedures like root canals) can be uncomfortable, even with the use of a shot of novocaine to numb the local area. In these cases, some dentists like to have other sedation options available to help patients feel at ease.

Today many dentists are enrolling in advanced oral sedation dentistry courses so they can learn a variety of techniques for reducing patient anxiety in the office. These techniques can range from a shot of novocaine (which is the standard for most offices) to more sophisticated sedation options, like putting the patient into an awake but pain-free sedated state. For patients who experience a higher level of anxiety, anesthesia can be administered by a specialist, which would render the patient temporarily unconscious during surgery.

The fact is that many patients are fine with just having novocaine in the local area followed by an over the counter painkiller for recovery, but for those patients who do experience a high level of anxiety during surgery, it’s wise to have several options available. That’s why, for the sake of offering every patient a higher level of care, today many dentists are providing a wider array of treatment options, through certification in sedation courses.