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Dental Anesthetics: What are the Options?

Jul 7, 2008
There are a number of options when it comes to dental anesthetics. This might surprise you, or you may have had them administered to you at your last visit to the dentist. Whatever the case, this article will provide information on the many anesthesia options a dentist has.

One thing is for sure; dental anesthesia is constantly changing and improving. This article will give you a small dose of some of the sedation methods available in dentistry.

- Inhalation Anesthesia:
This is what you might remember as being called laughing gas. It is really Nitrous Oxide. It is a sedative gas that is administered through a rubber mask placed over the patients mouth. Patients will feel light headed, then feel quite happy. This anesthetic has no lingering effects.

- Oral Conscious Sedation:
This is a sedative that comes in pill form and lasts about three to four hours. The patient becomes very sleepy after ingesting the pill and there is a dulling of the senses.

- Intramuscular Sedation:
This is done by injecting a sedative in the muscle of the upper arm or thigh. The effects of the sedation will occur in anywhere from two to thirty minutes depending on the sedative used.

- General Anesthesia:
This can be a combination of injecting the patient with a sedative and having the patient inhale a sedative. This will cause the patient to be completely asleep as this form of sedative is rather potent, however the effects last only four hours or so.

- Local Anesthesia:
This is the most popular form of anesthesia and it is referred to as local because the area of effect from the anesthesia will be targeted to a specific part of the body. In this case, an injection to the gums will cause complete numbness to the mouth area, so the doctor can work while the patient is completely awake. There are different solutions used for this type of anesthesia and the treatment will begin working in as little as three minutes.

- Intravenous Sedation:
This is something you may have heard of before, but you probably heard it by its other name: IV. Patients will actually think they are sleeping during the procedure and thus will have no memory of the dental procedure taking place. However, they can usually respond to the dentist if necessary. This type of sedative is more complex then other sedatives and this means a specialist will stay in the room with the dentist during the procedure.
About the Author
Seth Daugherty has a B.S. in Instructional Technology and is currently getting his masters degree in
library and information science. For more information on Dental Anesthetics go to Dental-Anesthesia.Com
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