Dentist will usually use a type of anaesthesia for certain procedures. These procedures are done with anaesthetics which can be done with or without consciousness. There are many different types of medication that can used for this. The different types used depends on a person-by-person basis. As some people can be have negative reactions to certain anaesthetics, the dentist will need to look at the age, health, medical history and length of the procedure.
There are three main types of anaesthesia: local, sedation, and general.
Local anaesthesia is used for procedures such as fillings, extractions and root canals. They are generally used for less complicated procedure and it usually take about 10 minutes to take full effect and can last a couple of hours. During this you are conscious and are able to communicate. The area will feel numb and might also feel a little large however it looks normal.
There are different types of sedation which are used to relax a person and help them with pain. Sedation can be categorized into mild, moderate and deep which means you can be semiconscious barely conscious. This medication is inhaled or given via Intravenously.
General anaesthesia is given for longer procedure and you are completely unconscious. During this time your muscles are relaxed and you will not experience any pain. This is given via face mask or IV. The level given is dependent on each individual patient.
There can be different types of side effects depending on the type of anesthetic used. These side effects can include
- nausea or vomiting
- sweating or shivering
- slurred speech
- dry mouth or sore throat
- pain at the site of injection
- dizziness/ Tiredness
- lockjaw caused by trauma from surgery; the jaw opening is temporarily reduced
There are also risks with anaesthesia, most people might not experience anything with local anaesthesia however with sedation and general anaesthesia there may be complications. The risks of anaesthesia are:
- Allergic reaction
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Low blood pressure.
- Stop breathing
If you’re concerned about any of the following risks you should discuss with your dentist before going into any procedure.