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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - Why Do I Need Anesthesia at the Dental Office? -- Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase - 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327)
Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry


Monday, December 10, 2018
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth

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Why Do I Need Anesthesia at the Dental Office?

 
Chapter: What Are Levels of Anesthesia?

Local anesthesia is produced by the application or injection of a drug to eliminate pain in a specific area in the mouth. Topical anesthetics are frequently used by your dentist to numb an area in preparation for administering an injectable local anesthetic. Injectable local anesthetics, such as lidocaine, numb mouth tissues in a specific area for a short period of time. Your dentist will probably inject a local anesthetic before filling cavities, preparing your teeth for crowns or for any surgical procedure. Local anesthesia is the most commonly used form of anesthesia in the dental office.

 

Conscious sedation can be used to help you relax during a dental procedure. Your dentist may administer an antianxiety agent, such as nitrous oxide, or a sedative, in combination with a local anesthetic for pain. During conscious sedation, you will remain calm during treatment, yet rational and responsive to speech and touch. Antianxiety agents and sedatives can be administered by mouth, inhalation or injection.

 

Deep sedation and general anesthesia are used for complex procedures and for patients who have trouble controlling their movements or need a deeper level of anesthesia during treatment. During deep sedation you will be unable to respond appropriately to verbal commands. During general anesthesia you will be unconscious.
 
Reviewed: January 2012