Category Archives: Sedation Dentistry

Tooth pain versus dental fear

I’m in a lot of pain, but I have a horrible fear of being in a dental chair. I can’t decide which is worse. How do I find a dentist who doesn’t cause pain?

Drew B.- San Antonio


You are not alone in your dental fear.  A large number of Americans share your feelings. There is a way you can get your tooth ache dealt with and stay out of pain in the dental chair.

What you need is a sedation dentist. There are different levels of sedation. It sounds like your fear needs something stronger than nitrous oxide. Call around and see who will do at least oral conscious sedation.

This is a pill you take shortly before your appointment. You’ll need someone to drive you to and from the appointment, because you’ll be pretty groggy. What you won’t feel, is pain.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Problems with novacain

I have had dental problems my whole life, because novacain doesn’t always work for me. This has caused some really painful dental appointments. After a while I just stopped going. I realize now that I’m older that I made a bad decision, because that has made for a ton of dental issues. I need to get at least five teeth pulled. However, I’ll want to immediately get dental implants. I’m not worried about the implants because I know they’ll knock me out for that. What terrifies me is the pulling. Do I have any other options than novacain?

Brenda P.- from Idaho


Yes, there is a really good solution for you. Many dentists aren’t aware of this, but dental anxiety can lead to¬†Novocaine¬†resistance. I think the anxiety tends to “burn off” the Novocaine. Look for a dentist who uses either nitrous oxide or oral sedatives. The nitrous oxide will relax you enough that the Novocaine will work. An oral sedative will put you in a sleep like state to relax you throughout the appointment. At our office we call this sleep dentistry. Our fearful patients have found this to be a fantastic solution for them.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Recovering addict needing dental treatment

I am recovering from an opiate addiction and I am currently on methadone maintenance. I really need to get into a dentist as soon as possible since my teeth are in very bad shape. I have extensive dental work that is required. The last dentist I visited wouldn’t give me any pain medication once they learned I was on methadone. I encouraged him to contact the clinic I attend so they could grant permission. My doctor and counselor would have been more than willing to discuss this. In the past I’ve dealt with serious dental anxiety too. Can you recommend a way that I can proceed in attempting to get a dentist to help me. I desperately want to be out of pain.

-Vince from Oregon


Unfortunately many dentists and doctors alike are afraid of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Sometimes it is easier for a dentist to refuse treatment than deal with potential issues that may come out of prescribing pain medication. Some dentists tell about times where they got in hot water with the DEA just because they exercised compassion. Sadly, the patient is the one that suffers as this happens more often.

A good starting point in finding a compassionate dentist would be to find one that practices sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry. Be upfront about your situation and your request for post-operative pain medication. Many dentists are empathetic and genuinely want to help people. Keep looking. You will find someone that can help.

This post was provided by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.