In general, dental patients should be comfortable when going into the dentist’s office no matter what procedure they are having done. That’s when dental anesthesia comes into play.
There are a variety of different types of dental anesthesia that are appropriate for the procedures they accompany. Your dentist and the office’s support staff are professionals who will ensure your comfort and safety throughout your procedure. If you ever have a question or a concern about the dental anesthesia that will be used during your visit, do not hesitate to ask. The experts at Advanced Dentistry will help guide you through the process and make sure you understand what will take place.
What is dental anesthesia?
Dental anesthesia comes in several different forms depending on the procedure or need. This includes:
Topical anesthesia. This type of dental anesthesia often comes in a gel form, and is applied on the surface of your cheek or gum. While it sits for a few minutes on the surface the dentist placed it, it will numb the area and surrounding tissue. This is particularly effective to make local anesthesia injections more comfortable.
Local anesthesia. Local dental anesthesia is administered via a quick injection directly to the area that will be worked on. This type of anesthetic temporarily deactivates your mouth’s nerves at the site of the injection. You will not feel anything in that area, meaning that the dentist can work on your teeth without causing you pain or discomfort. Lidocaine is one of the most common local anesthetic used in the dental world today, though there are other types used now, too.
Sedation. There are several levels of sedation that can help manage different patients and procedures at the dentist’s office. Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient during a procedure to help reduce anxiety and relax nervous patients. When patients use this approach, they are still awake and can answer questions and communicate. The euphoric effects of the gas are reversed once the supply is cut off, meaning that patients can easily leave once the procedure is finished. Oral sedation comes in pill form, and makes a patient groggy or fall asleep during a procedure. Moderate sedation can also be achieved through IV, which gives the dentist more control over the level of sedation. Deep sedation, or general sedation, will render patients totally unconscious during a procedure.
How does dental anesthesia help?
Depending on the type of dental anesthesia used and the procedure it is used for, there are a number of ways that anesthesia can help dental patients. Dental anesthesia can reduce or even eliminate discomfort during certain procedures. It can also relieve fear and anxiety that some patients experience when visiting the dentist. Dental anesthesia assists dentists in making sure that every patient receives effective and excellent care in the dentist’s chair.
Who might be a good candidate?
In general, topical and local anesthesia are effective for all patients. Sedation is a good option for patients who have low pain thresholds, have issues sitting still, have sensitive teeth, have a sensitive gag reflex, or need several issues resolved during the appointment. Depending on the procedure, your dental team will be able to recommend the proper level of dental anesthesia that will be appropriate for what you are having done.
If you are pregnant, it is still perfectly safe for both you and your baby to go to the dentist. Local anesthesia used during dental procedures will not harm you or your baby.
What kinds of procedures incorporate anesthesia?
Local anesthesia is used for invasive procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions, and fillings — depending on the severity. Some fillings are minor and might not require local anesthesia, but always speak up if you feel discomfort during a procedure. We want to make sure that you are comfortable throughout the duration of your visit.
Deep or general sedation is used during intensive oral surgery to ensure comfortable and pain-free procedures. After these procedures, you might still experience pain, but it will be managed through medications and steps that your dentist will have you take.
Sedation dentistry is also an option for even mundane and ordinary office visits that include cleaning. This type of sedation is ideal for children who might be frightened or even adult patients with high anxiety or phobias, which is quite common.
Will my insurance cover dental anesthesia?
Many dental insurance plans cover anesthesia, particularly if it is necessary to the procedure that you must receive. If you are diagnosed with a condition that makes sedation dentistry necessary, dental insurance could cover it. You can check with your individual plan to be sure, or ask the team at Advanced Dentistry. Payment plans and financing may also be an option. Give us a call if you have any questions at (614) 399-9381.