What Is the Safest Type of Dental Anesthesia?

What Is the Safest Type of Dental Anesthesia?
February 1, 2023

The introduction of dental anesthesia has led to growth in the number of people undergoing dental procedures. The treatment has helped patients undergoing dental procedures feel less pain by numbing the areato be operated on. There are various types of sedation dentistry; some leave you awake during treatment, while others put you to sleep. This article will discuss the various types of dental anesthesia and whether they are safe.

Types of Anesthesia

There are three types of dental anesthesia: local, general and intravenous conscious sedation, each with its use and purpose. During an evaluation, our dentist in Bradford will review your medical history and consider other factors before deciding the type of anesthesia that best suits your needs. Here are some of the things we consider before choosing anesthesia for our patients:

  • The type of dental procedure they are to undergo
  • Their medical history
  • In some cases, their personal preference

Below are the types of anesthesia being used at the moment:

Local Anesthesia

This is the most common type of anesthesia. It can be injected into a specific area in your mouth or applied topically. It takes about 20 minutes to start working, whereby patients will start to feel numbness in their mouth but remain conscious and able to communicate.

We usually use local anesthesia for minor dental operations such as:

  • Placing of dental crowns
  • Filling tooth cavities
  • Removing damaged or infected teeth
  • Performing a root canal treatment procedure
  • Scaling and root planning

The effects of local anesthesia only last a few hours post-treatment. There are also over-the-counter options for purchasing local anesthesia, often requiring a doctor’s prescription before buying.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is one that causes temporary loss of consciousness. It’s rarely used compared to local anesthesia and sedation and is preferred when patients can’t tolerate treatment even after being administered local anesthesia and sedation.

Patients under general anesthesia can be said to be in a medically induced coma. This is because once the anesthesia is administered, patients become unresponsive and do not feel any pain until treatment is complete. It can be inhaled or administered intravenously.

Patients scheduled for invasive oral surgeries are more likely to be put under general anesthesia than those going for non-invasive dental operations. Examples of dental procedures that may require general anesthesia include:

  • Jaw correction surgery
  • Oral cancer removal surgery
  • Extensive bone graft surgery
  • Multipleand emergency tooth extractions
  • Cleft lip surgery
  • Surgery to treat sleep apnea


Sedation dentistry is used to help patients with anxiety feel calm and comfortable during surgery. There are three forms of sedation:

Mild Sedation: Keeps you in a conscious state whereby you can respond to commands

Moderate Sedation: Puts you in a semi-conscious state

Deep Sedation: Leaves you unconscious. Youwon’t be aware of your surroundings and nor respond to stimulation.

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, is a common sedation option that is inhaled via a nasal hood placed over the patient’s nose. There are also other less popular sedation options, such as Valium and Propofol.

Benefits of Dental Anesthesia

When used with sedation, it helps calm patients, allowing the dentist to concentrate on carrying out the operation.

It eliminates pain, therefore encouraging people with a phobia of pain to seek treatment for their dental problems.

Makes procedures safe and effective if administered properly

Saves time as the dentist does not need to calm down anxious patients before starting treatment

What Is the Safest Type of Dental Anesthesia?

All types of dental anesthesia are safe when administered correctly and in the right dosage. Our dentist in Bradford will look at your medical history to determine which type of anesthesia will work best for you. If you have any allergies or are under any medication, disclose it to your dentist immediately so they can know how best to assist you without risking complications.

You may experience mild side effects such as nausea, dizziness, tiredness, sweating, hallucinations, and swelling on the injection site, althoughmost will wear down with time. In very rare cases, patients may experience adverse reactions such as low blood pressure, allergic reactions, malignant hyperthermia, stroke, and heart attack.


Dental anesthesia is an excellent way of making dental procedures safe and painless. Since its introduction to dentistry, the number of patients undergoing dental care treatment has risen significantly due to treatment becoming less painful. When administered correctly, all types of dental anesthesia can be considered safe. Visit South Simcoe Dental Care today for safe and effective dental procedures done under dental anesthesia.

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