Dental Anesthesia

Because the dentist’s chair is such a frightening experience for many, dental anesthesia is common place today. Nerves run throughout the gums as well as the pulp underneath each tooth. In addition, nerves that run throughout the face can be affected during a dental procedure like the chin, lip, tongue and face. They transmit pain and are the cause of discomfort during dental treatment. Analgesics are the first line of treatment in terms of what a patient is able to do for himself following a dental treatment. Non-narcotic agents for pain include aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Severe pain medications are dispensed by doctors and are narcotics such as codeine. Local anesthesia is how a dentist can intervene with pain. Applied with a cotton swab to the gums, gel type anesthetics available include lidocaine, septocaine and marcaine. Lidocaine, the most widely known and used of the local anesthetics, is a vasoconstrictor (after combined with epinephrine) which means it constricts the blood vessels to trap anesthesia into the gums. Patients will experience a numb feeling in the application and surrounding areas and a reduction in pain. Also a mild tingling sensation may be felt especially when the anesthesia is wearing off. For patients who take blood pressure medications and are worried about the reaction, there are types of anesthetics that will not interact with the medication. There are also anesthetics that may last longer as well as anesthetics that are injected with a small needle into the gums to truly give protection throughout.

For patients who have very severe anxiety, general anesthesia is used. General anesthesia is any type that causes a temporary loss of consciousness. Nitrous oxide is the most common in the dental chair. Other types of dental anesthesia involve oral administration as well as intravenously. With all of the solutions available for dental anxiety, there is no doubt that a patient can seek patient as long as he or she willing.