Most people used to fear going to the dentist due to the discomfort that comes with some of the procedures. Or at least that was the case until anesthesia became the norm in dental procedures, making a huge number of people sigh in relief.
Does it Really Help?
Using anesthetic helps to ease the discomfort experienced during oral surgery or a dental procedure. It helps not just with the pain, but in controlling the patient's breathing, blood flow, blood pressure, and heart rate and rhythm. It works by blocking the pain, relaxing the patient, making the patient sleepy, and surgery makes the patient unconscious for the procedure, which while not making it completely painless afterwards it makes the process much more comfortable.
Types of Anesthesia
Not all procedures require the same type of anesthesia, after all, simple tooth cleaning would hardly require putting the patient completely out for it. For minor procedures the dentist uses local anesthesia. It numbs a small and focused part of the mouth, and while the patient is completely awake they cannot feel any discomfort.
For more complex procedures the dentist may opt for a regional anesthetic. This works by numbing a larger part of the patient's body, either through peripheral nerve blocks or epidural and spinal anesthesia. Finally, for surgery, patients get given a general anesthetic which helps to put the patient ‘under', effectively numbing the patient's brain and body. As a result the patient is completely unconscious during the procedure.
If you have been dreading that visit to the dentist and have been postponing it for a while, there is a good chance that a simple mild anesthetic can make the entire process completely painless.