Root Canal Treatment with IV Sedation

Sedation Dentist Dr. Nick Calcaterra and patient practicing sedation dentistry

With or without sedation, we always practice Pain Free Dentistry

As a dental office which specializes in treating nervous and/or phobic patients, we know firsthand that certain dental procedures are more stressful than others. For many, the mere thought of getting a root canal performed while being awake is enough to make some patients become sweaty, nervous and sometimes downright nauseous!

Fortunately, we have a solution. And that solution is IV conscious sedation (also called IV sedation dentistry or twilight sedation). Dr. Nick Calcaterra is one of only a few general dentists in all of Connecticut who holds the specialized license to do this.

In IV sedation, which we do routinely in our office, you are given medications through an IV that relax you to the point where you feel no pain and will have little to no memory of the procedure (hence the term twilight). You may even fell like you are being put to sleep. A root canal almost becomes fun! (Note that we said almost…)

Why Patients Want to be Sedated for Root Canals

Root canal done with IV conscious sedation without pain

In a root canal, nerve tissue is removed and replaced with white filling material.

Of all the procedures in dentistry, a root canal is often the one which most patients fear the most. In fact, even President Obama joked about root canals once (see the 37 second mark). After all, having a live nerve removed from your tooth doesn’t sound very fun, doesn’t it?

Root canal treatment (also called endodontic therapy) is often associated with pain. And often times, patients needing the procedure are in pain from an inflamed or exposed tooth nerve. They frequently say that tooth nerve pain is the worst pain they have ever experienced. That severe pain can lead to stress, which can then cause dental anxiety.

So we then have a perfect storm: a patient who is already anxious and/or phobic about dental treatment who is also in pain from a tooth. You combine all these factors, and then the thought of being sedated into a twilight state with no memory and no pain sounds pretty appealing.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra has completed hundreds of endodontic procedures, with or without sedation. Sedating patients for root canals is a routine procedure for our office.

Your Options for Root Canal Treatment

IV sedation photo for nervous dental patients needing sedation for a root canal.

We are experts in IV sedation for root canal treatment.

Since we are one of the only offices in all of Connecticut that can do root canal treatment under sedation without the need for an outside anesthesiologist, we get inquires all the time. Here are some facts:

  • Oral Surgeons: Oral surgeons do IV sedation all the time in their respective offices. However, endodontic treatment is not surgery, and as a result, oral surgeons do not do root canals. The last time an oral surgeon did this procedure was when he/she was in dental school! So that is not an option.
  • Endodontists: Endodontists are specialists in doing root canals and they are very good at them! However, very few endodontists completed the extra training to do conscious sedation. As of February 2019, a search of the Connecticut licensing database shows that there are no endodontists in Connecticut with a sedation permit. So the ONLY way to get a root canal performed under sedation by an endodontist is for an outside anesthesiologist to come to the office.
  • General Dentist with Sedation License: This is what we are. Dr. Nick Calcaterra completed the extensive training to perform IV sedation in his office. And he also has extensive experience performing root canal treatment with or without sedation. As a result, he is able to do endodontic procedures in his office with patients being sedated without the need (and extra expense) of bringing in an anesthesia provider.

At this point, it should make sense that our office attracts patients from all over Connecticut (and some from New York state, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) to have endodontic treatment performed with IV conscious sedation.

Are you nervous about dental treatment? Do you wish to be sedated for a root canal, extractions, or other procedures? If yes, call our office at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.