You may have heard that natural redheads require more anesthesia than people with brown, black, or blonde hair. But is it truth or myth? Although it sounds like an obvious myth, new studies show that there may actually be some truth to the claim.
Red hair is the result of a gene called the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R). Only 1-2% of the entire population has red hair, whereas over 90% of people have black or brown hair. But what is it about this specific genetic makeup that requires more anesthesia for red-haired people? This rumor came about from a study that was done in the early 2000s. The study was performed on twenty healthy women aged 18-40 years old, who had natural, bright red hair or natural dark hair. Anesthesia was given to each patient, and then it was adjusted based on the patient’s response to the dosage. According to the study, the dosage that the red-haired women received was significantly more than the dosage dark-haired women required.
While these results prove this myth to be true, this study was conducted on a very small scale, and it’s possible that it would need to be recreated on a larger scale for more substantial evidence. Other studies have since been conducted that have produced different results, so it’s still unknown if there is truly a connection between redheads and anesthesia or not.
Whether you have red hair or not, you may be wondering if anesthesia is a good choice for your next dental appointment. Sedation, also known as sleep dentistry, is a great option for people who have anxiety about going to the dentist. It can make your next appointment easier, and it can lessen any discomfort during your appointment. Sedation is generally safe, although people with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications may not be eligible for sedation. If you want to find out if you’re a good candidate for sleep dentistry, contact your dentist.
Dr. Lovik Mirzaeian, DDS is a sedation dentist that has achieved extensive training in multidisciplinary dental treatments. His credentials include Dental Implants, Cosmetic Dentistry, Full Mouth Reconstruction, Endodontics, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, and Sleep Sedation. Our office puts your comfort and smile first, and we are dedicated to giving you top-notch dental care. Get ready to show off your perfect smile!