Dental Anesthesia and Sedation

Whether you are anxious about a dental procedure or simply need help to relax, sedation and anesthesia can make the experience more comfortable. However, not all sedation and anesthesia are safe for everyone and side effects may vary based on your medical history and the type of anesthesia used. Before receiving anesthesia, you should discuss your concerns with your dentist and make sure you understand the risks and benefits. Local anesthesia is injected into the area that needs treatment to block nerve signals and prevent pain from being felt. The numbing medication usually kicks in within five minutes or less of the injection and lasts one to two hours. This is typically the most common type of anesthesia and works well for basic procedures such as fillings or treating gum disease. Local anesthesia can also be combined with nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” to provide additional relaxation and minimize anxiety. Sedation is more complex and can be administered in a variety of ways. It can be used in combination with local anesthesia to reduce anxiety and help you relax during a procedure, or it can be given orally to promote relaxation and sleepiness. It is usually a mix of chemicals including valium and diazepam. Medications like this may be absorbed into your bloodstream through the stomach and liver, making it more likely to cause side effects. It is recommended that you avoid eating or drinking anything for two hours before receiving sedation. Moderate sedation is given through an IV drip, which allows you to breathe and feel sensations but does not fully put you to sleep. It is ideal for patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety and can also be used for more involved procedures such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. It is also an excellent choice for children who need extensive treatment, as it can be very effective in reducing their anxiety and fear of dentistry. General anesthesia is a stronger form of sedation that puts you into a semi-conscious state. This type of anesthesia is usually administered in a surgical center, hospital or specialized dental office with trained anesthesia professionals. You will sleep through the entire procedure and likely won’t remember any part of it afterwards. Anesthesia is very safe when provided by a licensed, professional medical doctor who has received special training in anesthesiology and has been certified to administer it. Some medical conditions can increase the risk of anesthesia, and you should tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, respiratory problem or any other health issues. You should also let your dentist know if you have a hiatal hernia, acid reflux or any open sores in the mouth or throat, as these can affect how well you respond to anesthesia. anesthésie dentaire

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