If visiting the dentist for a procedure such as a a root canal, crown or filling makes you full of fear and dread, you may not need to worry. Today, dentists offer several different options for pain relief ranging from just a local anesthesia to numb the area of treatment to complete unconscious sedation. It is up to you and your dentist to decide what type of anesthesia is best for you and your particular dental procedure.
Before deciding on a dentist, it is important to find out what types of anesthesia he or she offers. All dentists offer local anesthesia which is injected into mouth to numb the specific area that will be treated. Some dentists also offer Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Nitrous Oxide can be administered in a dental office and puts patients in a relaxed, comfortable state, but they are still conscious and can follow commands. Some dentists are also trained to administer oral sedatives in their dental office. These oral medications are used to put patients in a relaxed, “twilight sleep.” In this state, patients are breathing on their own and can follow commands, but may not remember receiving treatment after the medications wear off. In cases of extreme anxiety and/or dental phobia or when several procedures need to be completed at the same time, patients may be placed under general anesthesia. This type of anesthesia puts patients completely to sleep and must administered by an Anesthesiologist, or a Certified Nurse Anesthetist in a hospital setting or surgical suite with close monitoring.
Failing to receive needed dental treatment can lead to serious, painful and expensive oral health problems. If you are in need of a dental procedure but have neglected to seek treatment due to anxiety or fear of pain, talk to your dentist today to find out what types of anesthesia he or she offers and to determine which option best suits your needs.
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