Anesthesia marked a milestone for dentistry as a profession. It made a once unbearable experience bearable. Anesthesia enabled those who had been kept away by the fear of pain into accepting dental care. The development of nerve block sedation in 1884 ,marked this new beginning for pain-free dentistry. It was developed by William Halstead. There are two forms of sedation which you will learn here.
Local anesthesia is used to numb a part or all of the mouth when a patient is undergoing dental work. This is so as to alleviate the pain that would otherwise occur without sedation. Local anesthesia leaves a patient conscious so they are aware of what is happening to them. The anesthetic used for dental work is called Novocaine and is regarded as safe for most individuals.
General anesthesia is administered to those who are required to be unconscious while the procedure is taking place. The reason for this would be if a patient cannot control their movements or is suffering from anxiety. Children fall into this category of patients. General anesthesia is also used in certain procedures like when extracting wisdom teeth.
Groups of Concern
There are some groups of people who require specialized care. Children are required to be treated with greater care as they are most likely to be anxious, They need to have told what is going to happen to them in order to calm them down. For children, or those prone to anxiety, nitrous oxide is administered to help calm them down prior to being sedated for the dental procedure.
Pregnant women are another group of people who require special care. They are advised not to have any form of sedation during their first trimester. After this it is still best to avoid any dental procedures unless they are completely unavoidable.
Precaution is taken for patients who are under sedation. They are monitored closely by checking their blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, as well as temperature.