How 3 Types Of Anesthesia Can Help You Through Your Next Dentist Appointment

Posted on: 20 April 2015

Many feel apprehensive about a trip to the a dentist, like Barry Groder DDS, but recent innovations in the field of anesthesiology may just be enough to put those fears to rest. Whether it's an inhaled relaxing and numbing agent, pill form sedatives, or intravenous anesthesia, developments in the field of anesthesia are helping dental patients everywhere feel more relaxed, and experience less pain when at the dentist. The following is a brief description of some of the most commonly utilized forms of anesthesia and what you can expect following administration. 

Mild Sedation

Although you're probably familiar with nitrous oxide and the laughing that is commonly attributed to its administration, this kind of anesthesia actually has a number of legitimate and unique benefits. It is the only kind if sedation that allows patients to operate motor vehicles shortly after administration, as it wears off quickly. It is also very fast acting, which means dentists can administer the drug, perform the procedure, and feel confident that the patient can safely drive him or herself home afterwards.

Moderate Sedation

A slightly more potent form of sedation might also be used for procedures that are longer in duration, or which delve deeper into the soft tissues of the gums. These are generally administered in pill form, and while they result in stronger levels of sedation, they aren't as fast acting as an inhaled substance like nitrous oxide. As a result, sedative pills are normally ingested roughly an hour before any dental procedure. Once the drug takes effect though, patients feel virtually no pain.

Although patients dosed with this type of anesthesia typically slur, and may have only faint memories of the procedure, a dentist may use this type of sedation to effectively 'put you to sleep' for the duration of the procedure. While you aren't technically asleep, and still able to respond to a dentist's commands, an extremely deep level of sedation is possible with pill form anesthesia. 

Deep Sedation

To achieve the deepest level of painlessness, dentists administer general anesthesia. General anesthesia renders most patients completely unconscious, and is most often achieved with a variety of inhaled and intravenously administered substances. For patients that would rather have no memory of the work their dentist performed, deep sedation is the ideal solution, so long as it is appropriate for the given procedure.

Ultimately, various types of anesthesia are utilized not only for different kinds of procedures, but also with respect to each patient's tolerance for discomfort, or his or her individual phobias.