Some people feel anxious or nervous about their dental visits. But you can rest easy. Participating general and cosmetic dentists want to make sure that your visit is as free from discomfort and anxiety as possible. Let's look at the options that are available.
Local anesthesia numbs the teeth and gums to prevent you from feeling discomfort during dental treatment. There are two types of local anesthetics: topical and injectable.
Antianxiety agents or sedatives can help you relax during dental procedures. They may be given before or during the dental visit and can be administered as pills, liquids or injections. Some can be inhaled.
Antianxiety agents or sedatives may be used with local anesthetics and pain medications during procedures such as placement of a crown. Some of these agents provide what is called 'conscious sedation' which means that when they are administered to you, you should feel drowsy but awake and responsive. Two forms of conscious sedation are nitrous oxide administration and intravenous sedation.
General anesthesia, unlike conscious sedation, causes a loss of consciousness and produces deep sleep.
General anesthesia may be used for patients with uncontrollable anxiety or patients who are unable to control their movements (such as young children or some people with disabilities). It also may be used for long or complicated procedures such as surgical tooth extractions.
As a patient, your role is to discuss treatment options.
You and a Smile dentist can work together to make you more comfortable even during complex dental procedures.
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