Understanding Dental Anesthesia
To be the most comfortable when needing any dentistry work carried out, a dentist or possibly a dental hygienist can give you a dental anesthetic. This is a very safe way of helping eliminate any pain usually felt when having minor dental procedures.
The medication will numb the area to be worked upon and it will remain numb for approximately two hours after your treatment. Therefore, you remain fully awake and aware of your environment. You will feel more relaxed and experience much less pain throughout the whole procedure.
What Is The Difference Between Sedation Dentistry And Dental Anesthetics?
- Anesthetics for dentistry and sedatives are used by dentists under different circumstances.
- Sedatives are given to help the patient manage their anxiety and any nerves felt before having dentistry work.
- Anesthetics will eliminate any pain or discomfort.
- The most popular sedative choice of dentists is called Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. This will be given in the form of an oral tablet or via an injection.
- It is common for a patient experiencing severe anxiety to be given the sedative prior to receiving the anesthetic injection.
- Those patients with acute anxiety may visit a specialized sedation dentist. They will be given all the help needed to alleviate their fears and overcome the intense apprehension felt when visiting a dentist.
Benefiting From Local Anesthetics for Dentistry
Patients with acute anxiety and a fear of visiting the dentist are more commonly known to refuse an anesthetic. Allowing the dentist to explain how beneficial local anesthetics for dentistry can be could help the patient relax and feel much less pain.
The benefits of having anesthesia:
- Using an anesthetic may consolidate several essential appointments into only a single appointment.
- The patient’s experience of pain during any procedure will be greatly reduced.
- Anesthetics may be used together with a sedative to alleviate any anxiety, discomfort, and pain.
- The dental anesthetics administered are always safe and give effective results.
Anesthetics And Their Potential Side Effects
Anesthetics during dental procedures are very common. Before your dentist administers anything, they should always know your medical history. Always advise your dentist of any allergies you may have, medications you are taking, and any history of alcohol abuse.
Side effects may be rare but could include:
- Swelling inside the mouth
What Are The Different Types Of Anesthesic?
Your dentist will determine what type of anesthetic is needed for your procedure. Their decision will depend on if the treatment is minor or more invasive, your preference, and your medical history.
A local anesthetic is commonly used when the patient needs a minor dental procedure. Often used are lidocaine, prilocaine, bupivacaine, articaine, and mepivacaine. The anesthetic is administered via a needle. It will be injected into the area of the mouth needing treatment. Once active the area will be numb – the pain receptor will not be working, therefore eliminating any discomfort or pain for many hours. The dentist can complete the procedure whilst the patient is fully awake but comfortable.
Common treatments needing a local anesthetic are:
- Cavity fillings
- Teeth extraction
- Root canal procedure
- Placement of a Dental Crown
- Root planning and scaling
The use of general anesthesia will result in the patient losing consciousness before their dental procedure. Medically, it is an induced coma – the patient is not sleeping but they are unresponsive and will feel no pain. This type of anesthetic is inhaled or given intravenously, referred to as IV sedation. The difference between the general anesthetic and an IV sedation will be the patient’s capability to breathe and/or respond on their own.
A general anesthetic will be used in hospitals for patients that need more invasive oral surgery including:
- Bone grafts
- Tooth extraction
- Oral cancer surgeries
- Sleep apnea surgeries
- Corrective jaw surgery
- Cleft palate, cleft lip surgeries
- Cosmetic dental procedures
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