When it comes to cosmetic dental procedures, there are a few different types of anesthesia that can be used to ensure a comfortable and pain-free experience. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the most common option for achieving a relaxed state. During this type of anesthesia, a mask is placed over the nose and the patient inhales the gas. Conscious sedation is another option that can help patients stay calm during a dental procedure.
This type of sedation involves the administration of an anti-anxiety agent, such as nitrous oxide, or a sedative, in combination with a local anesthetic for pain relief. With conscious sedation, patients remain relaxed during treatment but are still alert and able to respond to speech and touch. Local anesthesia, also known as novocaine, is used during most dental procedures. This medication is administered as an injection and is designed to temporarily numb the area. Local anesthesia is the only sedation option that completely eliminates pain.
However, for some patients, knowing that a procedure will be painless isn't enough to ease their anxiety. Whether it's due to a fear of dental offices or concern about staying seated for so long, many patients need more than just local anesthesia during their treatments.