Nothing strikes more fear into the hearts of folks than needles and pain. Yet, by and large, this is what dentists have to offer. From our perspective, the needles reduce the pain but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when it’s going in or isn’t scary to look at. It only means that the net overall pain that the patient has suffered has been reduced through the endurance of a scary needle and some temporary pain. Almost every sort of dental procedure you can think of will use some form of anesthetic. In this article, we’ll discuss dental anesthesia options during procedures.
While you’ve likely heard of novocaine, local anesthetics are available over the counter in the form of benzocaine or lidocaine. Novocaine is used in-office and delivered through a large, scary needle. Once the anesthesia takes effect, it will prevent the areas of your face associated with specific nerves from communicating pain signals to your brain. Local anesthesia is generally prescribed for cavities, extractions, and other procedures that can be performed in less than 30 minutes—the amount of time the anesthesia generally lasts.
Are you really, really scared of people looking around in your mouth while holding large needles? If so, sedation offers another layer of comfort. Typically, this involves the administration of benzodiazepines such as valium to calm the patient while they are having their dental work performed.
General anesthesia is surgical anesthesia. For procedures that last longer than an hour or require that a patient be mostly or completely unconscious, surgical anesthesias such as ketamine, propofol, or (everyone’s favorite) nitrous oxide.
You’ll probably recognize nitrous oxide from that concert you went to in the early 90s. Remember that guy who was selling balloons outside the concert? Yeah, he was selling dental anesthesia. While most folks will laugh off the reaction in a few minutes, some others could have an allergic reaction or take too much of the gas too fast. Either of those would ruin their night and land them in the emergency room.
Special considerations for certain health conditions
Your dentist will evaluate your level of anxiety with the procedure that will be performed and determine the best option concerning your anesthesia during your procedure. Those who request sedation will always have that option available to them at Peak Family Dental. Those who have specific conditions or are on medication for chronic conditions may have fewer options. Your dentist can help determine if any of your medications are putting you at risk for a complication under anesthesia. Those with heart problems, sleep apnea, seizure disorder, obesity, or high blood pressure will require special care.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have any questions concerning dental anesthetic, call Peak Family Dental Care today to discuss your concerns with a Cottonwood dentist. We’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.