Sedation Dentistry: Will I Need to Be Sedated for a Tooth Extraction?

by Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD | Dec 23, 2019

You may have heard people compare stressful or painful tasks with “pulling teeth.” Yet, this idiom is based on antiquated dental practices that you don’t have to worry about these days. Thanks to leaps and bounds in modern medicine, a tooth extraction isn’t “like pulling teeth.” So if a tooth extraction isn’t as painful as it would have been in yesteryear, will you still need IV sedation to get through it?

Local Anesthesia

Many patients are surprised to find out that all they need is a bit of local anesthesia to help them cruise through their tooth extraction. A local anesthetic, commonly lidocaine, is injected into the soft tissue of the mouth to completely numb the teeth and gums.

And that’s it. That’s all you need to get through your tooth extraction without any pain and minimal discomfort. About the only sensation you’ll feel in your mouth during your procedure will be mild pressures, as your doctor works to carefully remove the tooth or teeth.

The anesthesia will last you the entire procedure and a second dosage can be administered if your procedure runs long and you feel the medication begins to wear off.

Reasons to Still Choose Sedation

Even though local anesthesia can mute any pain in your mouth, it may not soothe your anxieties. Here are some of the ways sedation dentistry can help you get through a tooth extraction, even when you undergo local anesthesia as well:

Dental anxieties – even a rational brain can have irrational thoughts. Sedation can help calm your anxieties and get you through your tooth extraction with ease.

Restlessness – sedation can help calm those who have trouble sitting still for extended periods of time.

Overactive gag reflex – sedation can also calm an overactive gag reflex, so you won’t have to worry about nausea before or during your tooth extraction.

More on Sedation Dentistry 

Take a moment to schedule a consultation with a local dentist to learn more about your options for sedation dentistry in San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Oklahoma City, and Charleston.


About the Author

Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD

Dr. Andrew Mueller loves being an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. After completing both dental and then medical school, he did a general surgery residency and an oral/maxillofacial surgery residency (both at Parkland hospital in Dallas, Texas). He has performed countless general anesthetics in the operating room, learning how to safely put patients to sleep and wake them back up.

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