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operation-540598Pain induced by medical procedures can be heightened by our own personal anxieties and fears, but modern anesthesia is intended to help manage this pain. Anesthesia allows practitioners to perform complex surgeries in the comfort of a dental office, rather than a hectic hospital. There are many forms of anesthesia that can be use to physically relax you, block pain, make you sleep sleepy or forgetful, and make you unconscious for surgery, if need be. Below are four different forms of anesthesia to learn about.

Local Anesthesia: Commonly known as novocaine, local anesthesia is employed during most dental procedures. Local anesthesia is injected, and numbs the area by temporarily preventing teeth nerve fibers from transmitting impulses. When it is used alone, this anesthetic is the only one that will completely eliminate pain. Local anesthesia can be combined with other types of conscious sedation methods to further decrease your awareness and anxiety with the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas,” this anesthetic is the lightest form of conscious sedation. Laughing gas is easily administered by inhaling through a nasal mask. Nitrous Oxide is short-acting anesthetic that is completely eliminated from the body minutes after the system is turned off. With no lingering hangover effect, patients can leave the office without the aid of an escort. The gas can also be patient-regulated; to feel more of its effects, you simply need to increase the number of deep breaths you’re taking. The effects of nitrous oxide vary for each patient, but most feel a relaxing and euphoric feeling. Due the the range of effects, nitrous oxide may not be effective at reducing anxiety. Another drawback is it’s infectivity in reducing awareness.

Oral Pre-medication: There are several different medications on the market that can be ingested by the patient a half-hour to an hour before an appointment. Oral pre-medication is more effective than nitrous oxide, but the duration of its effects will vary. In most cases, patients will need an escort to and from the office. This type of anesthetic is more effective than nitrous oxide, but its effectiveness and onset of action is difficult to predict.

Intravenous I.V. Sedation: Intravenous sedation is the most effective method for reducing awareness and anxiety for dental procedures. If you are given I.V. sedation, you will technically be conscious throughout the procedure, but you will be in a safe, relaxed, and comfortable state during your surgery. Intravenous sedation is administered through an I.V. line, which makes for a fast onset of action. If you are given this form of sedation, you will need an escort home after the procedure. If you want to be as comfortable as possible, this may be the best choice for you.

As with all medical advice, it is best to consult your personal and professional dentistry practitioner to ensure you are given the best care for your situation. To learn more about Dr. Kazemi’s anesthetic practices, visit his site here.