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Dental anaesthesia is a form of medication that is used to temporarily numb the mouth, gums, teeth, or throat to prevent pain during dental procedures. The use of dental anaesthesia helps patients feel relaxed and at ease, and it allows dentists to perform necessary dental treatments without causing pain, and limiting discomfort. The two types of dental anaesthesia are local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia. At Woodbourne Dental, we believe that everyone deserves a comfortable and pain-free dental experience. Our experienced dentists and dental specialists use the latest techniques and technology to provide dental treatments that are gentle and effective. Our team of experts will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and answer any questions you may have about dental anaesthesia. 


Dental anaesthesia is a type of pain management used during dental procedures to eliminate or reduce discomfort and pain. It works by numbing the specific area: local anaesthesia of the mouth where the dental procedure is performed, allowing the patient to remain relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. Going to the dentist can be a nerve-racking experience for many people, especially if the thought of a dental procedure sends shivers down your spine. However, advancements in dentistry have made it possible for patients to receive dental treatments in a comfortable and pain-free manner, thanks to the use of dental anaesthesia. The type of anaesthetics used depends on the age of a person, health condition, the length of the procedure, and any negative reactions to anaesthetics in the patient’s history. There are two main types of dental anaesthesia that can be administered: local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.

Local Anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia is the most common type of anaesthesia used in dental procedures. It is administered through a injection directly into the gums or cheek, which temporarily blocks the nerve impulses that causes pain in the area. It can also be in gel, ointment, cream, spray, patch, liquid, and injectable forms. For example, a local anaesthetic will be used for a cavity filling or a root canal procedure, which requires a shorter time to complete and is generally less complicated. You will be conscious during this, but the area would be numb therefore you will not experience any pain. Sometimes, light sedation is added to help the patient to relax. Most anaesthetics take effect within 10 minutes and last 30 to 60 minutes depending on the type and strength of the medication. 
Examples include articaine, bupivacaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, and prilocaine. 

General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is used for more invasive and longer procedures, such as wisdom teeth extraction, and it induces a complete state of unconsciousness. It is usually administered through an IV or face mask, and it allows the patient to sleep through the entire procedure. The level of anaesthesia depends on the procedure and the person. Examples include: propofol, ketamine, etomidate, midazolam, diazepam, and nitrous oxide. 


Reactions vary from patient to patient based on individual factors. Patients typically do not experience side-effects, but when these do appear, they may present as:

•    Nausea or vomiting;
•    Headache;
•    Sweating or shivering;
•    Hallucinations, delirium, or confusion;
•    Slurred speech;
•    Dry mouth or sore throat;
•    Pain at the site of injection;
•    Dizziness;
•    Tiredness;
•    Numbness; or
•    Lockjaw caused by trauma from surgery, where the jaw opening is temporarily reduced.

The use of dental anaesthesia ensures that patients are comfortable and relaxed during their dental treatments. The administration of anaesthesia is typically performed by a licensed and experienced dental anaesthesiologist, who will monitor the patient's vital signs throughout the procedure to ensure their safety. It is important to remember that dental anaesthesia is a safe and effective way to manage pain during dental procedures. If you are nervous about an upcoming dental treatment, discuss the use of dental anaesthesia with your dentist. They will be able to advise you on the best options to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

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