One of the biggest reasons patients hesitate about visiting the dentist is because of the merciless shots injected into your gums to numb them. In fact, without those shots of dental anaesthesia, most people would not make it through the procedure. The number of shots depends on the procedure you’re booked for, how many teeth you need fixed and the skill of your dentist. It’s usually uncomfortable but not necessarily painful and once they’ve their work, you’re one step ahead towards good oral health.
Purpose of Dental anaesthesia
The purpose of dental anaesthesia is to numb the gums. It does so by blocking the nerves in your teeth from signalling your brain. When you have a tooth ache, for example, it’s usually the result of your nerves quickly sending signals to your brain that something is wrong with your tooth. When your gums are numb, the signal doesn’t go out. This is excellent because the type of work and the machines that dentists use to fix your teeth will cause excruciating pain if it wasn’t for anaesthesia. Dental anaesthesia usually consists of the anaesthetic, preservatives and vasoconstrictor but only in some procedures, not all.
You should note that there is a big difference between local and general anaesthesia. When it’s local, it is meant to numb a local region or only one part of the body. The rest of your body parts maintain sensation. Local anaesthetic is used in procedures where the person being operated upon is awake. It’s used in many operations but one of its most popular applications is in dentistry. General anaesthesia on the other hand, renders you unconscious until the procedure is over. The general kind used to be used on children when they had to have multiple tooth extractions. However, because of the dangerous effects general anaesthesia might have on both adults and children, it has become a somewhat outdated practice.
When is Dental anaesthesia applied?
Dental anaesthesia is used on patients who need teeth extracted, dental implants fitted, veneers installations and dental fillings done. Although it numbs the area being operated on, you can expect to feel pressure or movement during the process.
The side effects are not harmful and will last a few hours at the most. You are likely to experience a numb tongue, a feeling of swelling and minor muscle spasms. In some cases, patients say they’ve experienced dizziness and blurry vision. Make sure none of these symptoms last for more than 24 hours. If they do, consult with your dentist as soon as you can. This is because unending symptoms caused by dental anaesthesia have led to heart attacks and seizures in rare cases. It is also common to experience pain after it wears off. Although common, you should still tell your dentist about it as well. The pain can range from dull to unbearable. In either case, your dentist will send you home with prescribed painkillers. He or she might also recommend over-the-counter gels or ointment that contains anaesthesia to ease the discomfort or pain.