All medical procedures have greatly benefitted from the introduction of anesthesia in practice. It doesn’t only eliminate pain for the patients being treated but also allows the professional to focus on more important technicalities of the process. Let’s first try to understand how anesthesia works. Anesthesia is a safe way to control pain during dental surgery and keep in check any discomfort as the dentist carries out procedures. It works to eliminate painful sensations in the specific area being operated upon without entirely losing consciousness unnecessarily.
The medication typically administered through an injection creates a numb feeling during orthodontic or dental procedures with effects lasting up to a few hours after treatment. Anesthesia lets the patients be calm and relaxed and experience less anxiety and pain through the process.
Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia suitable for you will majorly depend on your medical records and type of treatment you are getting, best decided by your dentist/orthodontist. Long more intensive oral procedures require a heavy anesthetic administration to keep you calm during the procedure. However smaller, less invasive kinds of oral surgery such as a filling or trimming may do with a local anesthetic that will only numb the specific localized area. Your eligibility for a certain kind of anesthetic will depend on various factors such as pregnancy, blood sugar level, and blood pressure levels as there are various risky aspects for different conditions.
Here are brief explanations of the different kinds of anesthetics available, their utility, and procedures that use them.
The Local anesthesia numbs a localized region of your mouth without making you completely unconscious. Dentists usually use them to perform a tooth extraction, root canal or have stitches in place. They are administered via sprays, ointments, or gels that are applied to the specific area or in some cases injected in combination with epinephrine to prevent it from spreading elsewhere in the body. Most people don’t experience any side effects from local anesthesia, you should still check in with your dentist and doctor.
Sedation is offered to have a calming effect on the body before, during, and after the procedure as it relives the nervousness and anxiety associated with injections, visiting a dentist, or simply getting operated upon. Unlike Anesthesia, it doesn’t relieve pain but it has a calming effect on the patient, preparing them for the procedure. A popularly used sedative used is nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, which can be inhaled or taken via an injectable or oral pill. Typically, you won’t remember many conversations from the procedure and might experience side effects like dizziness, nausea, and headache. People with special health conditions need to take extra care and consult before getting administered.
General anesthesia makes your body completely unconscious. General anesthesia is required for long extensive procedures in case of serious, invasive oral surgery. It can be taken through an IV injection or inhaled as an anesthetic gas. Various procedures require general anesthesia as a must but it has various side effects as compared to sedation or local anesthesia.
Speak to your dentist if you have underlying risk factors or conditions for general anesthesia. This may include high blood pressure/sugar, heart problems, pregnancy, and other conditions that might affect your blood pressure, respiratory system, or nervous system.
Pros of Anesthesia
Patients particularly with a phobia of dental treatments or anxiety associated with injections may more likely avoid anesthetics for required during dental procedures. However, once your dentist elaborates and briefs you on the benefits of anesthesia, you relax and remain calmer during the surgery and feel less pain. The main advantages of anesthesia include:
- Using anesthesia can help the professional do the procedure in a single sitting instead of multiple, saving a lot of time and money.
- The patients experience negligible to no pain or discomfort during the procedure and hence surgeries can be undertaken more smoothly.
- Anesthesia used in combination with sedation can help relieve anxiety, pain, phobias, and discomfort during procedures in dentistry.
- All kinds of anesthetics used in dentistry or orthodontics are completely safe and highly useful.
- Most anesthetics do not completely put you to sleep except general anesthesia so the patient can remain conscious and be consciously present for the procedure.
Drawbacks of Anesthesia
Although anesthetics do not have major side effects still doctors should have full information on your medical history and past record of substance/alcohol abuse or any other underlying conditions (something even as minor as an allergy).
- Swelling in the region
- Prolonged numbness (usually subsides within few hours)
Anesthetic is a major branch of study that assists in carrying out medical procedures smoothly without pain and hassles. However, you should never self-diagnose and always have a doctor look into what kind of anesthesia works best for you as well as the treatment. Further last but not the least, don’t let any of your fears and phobias keep you from visiting the dentist. Regular check-ups are done for your own good so minor problems don’t turn big and now as you know your fears and other anxieties can also be easily worked out once you pay a visit. So, don’t ignore any arising pain or discomfort in your teeth, gums, or mouth, and keep brightening the world with your smile, always!