If you need to get a major dental procedure done, then you will want to know about the different types of anesthesia that are available to you. Here is the essential information about four ways to ensure that you don't feel anything.
Local anesthesia is the most common form used at the dentist since it is used for practically everything. It's used when having a cavity filled, a crown placed, and a root canal. It's straightforward, easy to administer, and wears off quickly. It works by numbing the nerve endings in your mouth so that you can't feel anything. The uncomfortable part is the moment when the needle is inserted since afterward you only feel pressure. Many people tend to feel sore after having local anesthesia, with swelling being another side effect.
Nitrous oxide is often called laughing gas because it can make you feel a bit silly when you use it. You'll still feel alert, but just very relaxed during the whole experience. Nitrous oxide is not only fast-acting, but it is quickly reversible as well. The effects wear off soon after the gas is no longer administered to you. This means that you can drive home afterward and be completely safe. Keep in mind that nitrous oxide is a great way to calm your nerves, but it won't numb you. You'll still need local anesthesia for an in-depth procedure.
IV sedation is a form of twilight sedation. Medication is delivered intravenously through your veins, and it is very easy to control how sedated you are during the procedure. Your dentist can increase or decrease the sedation to make you more or less awake. Be aware that every person experiences IV sedation differently. Some people are completely asleep while others are still awake. Either way, you won't be able to drive home after taking this form of dental sedation.
Oral sedation is going to be stronger than using nitrous oxide, but not as strong as IV sedation. It is commonly administered in the form of pills for adults and liquids for children. You take the medication prior to your procedure, and you'll gradually feel sleepy. In fact, you won't really remember much about the appointment when it is finished. For adults using oral sedation, be aware that you'll be in no condition to drive yourself home afterward.
Talk to your dentist if you have more questions about dental anesthesia.