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How does Dental Anesthetic Work?

October 16, 2018 | Blog

When we think of anesthetic or anesthesia, we typically think about going under. That can be a common fear for most, especially if you put the word dental or dentist in front of it. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Dental anesthetic is not a form of going under at all. In more accurate terms, it’s more a form of numbing.

There are two main types of dental anesthetic – topical and local. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dental anesthetic and their effects on you as a patient.

Topical Anesthetic

Topical anesthetic is exactly as it sounds, meaning the top or surface. This form of anesthetic is more of a cream or gel applied to the patient’s mouth. It has much milder numbing properties in comparison to its brother, local anesthetic. Topical anesthetic can be used in a wide variety of circumstances – but there are two common uses. The first is to treat a toothache or pain. The numbing properties of topical anesthetic are just enough to ward off the dull throbbing of a toothache. The second use is prior to local injections for a dental procedure.

Local Anesthetic

Local anesthesia is a type of anesthetic used to prevent pain in a specific area of your mouth during treatment. It blocks the nerves that sense or transmits pain, which numbs mouth tissues. Local anesthetic is injected into the area of mouth dependant on the dental procedure and its overall duration.

Assessing Your Situation

The purpose of dental anesthetic is to make you, the patient, feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process of your dental procedure. Your dentist will assess your situation dependant on the type of procedure, your overall health, history of allergies and your anxiety level when determining which approach is best for your particular case.

Now that you have a better knowledge of the anesthetic used in procedures, you can feel more confident talking to your dentist about the dental procedure process. To schedule your next appointment, contact Gulf Coast Dental today!

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