Most dental work is done under local anesthetic, used to numb the teeth and gums before treatment begins.
Dentists generally use two kinds of local anesthetic:
- Topical anesthetic is applied to the gums or inside the cheek with a cotton swab, to remove any pain at the injection site.
- An anesthetic is injected to prevent pain in the treatment area. It acts by blocking nerve endings and numbing parts of the mouth for varying lengths of time.
Some people avoid dental treatment because of dental phobias. Conscious sedation makes it possible to reduce their anxiety and fear so that the treatment can be carried out more easily.
This kind of anesthesia is used for major surgery, in a specialized clinic or a hospital. It may also be used during highly complex extractions of wisdom teeth or for special cases.