Dental anesthesia (or dental anaesthesia) is a field of anesthesia that includes not only local anesthetics but sedation and general anesthesia.
Local anesthetic agents in dentistry
The most commonly used local anesthetic is lidocaine (also called xylocaine or lignocaine),a modern replacement for procaine (also known as novocaine).Its half-life in the body is about 1.5–2 hours.Other local anesthetic agents in current use include articaine (also called septocaine or ubistesin),marcaine (a long-acting anesthetic),and mepivacaine.A combination of these may be used depending on the situation.Also,most agents come in two forms: with and without epinephrine (adrenaline) or other vasoconstrictor that allow the agent to last longer and also controls bleeding in the tissue during procedures.Usually the case is classified using the ASA Physical Status Classification System before any anesthesia is given.
Types of local anesthesia in dentistry
1.Nerve block—a common form of local dental anesthesia; blocks the reception of pain in one region of the mouth at a time.
2.Infiltration given inferior to the root the tooth involved in the dental work;used usually for minor procedures such as restorations.
3.Palatal block given into the hard palate using pressure anesthesia;useful in anesthetizing the palate side of the maxillary teeth.
4.Intraosseous an injection of local anesthetic given directly into the osseous (bone) structure of the tooth for more involved dental procedures such as surgery or endodontic therapy (root canals).
5.Intrapulpal an injection of local anesthetic given directly into the pulp of the tooth to completely desensitize the tooth.
6.Pressure anesthesia—pressure with a cotton swab in the area to distract the nerve sensation of pain when the needle enters certain areas such as palatal tissue.
7.Electrical nerve blocks—a technology that involves using electric current to block the reception or generation of pain signals; the pain control can be transient.
8.Acupuncture or accupressure An alternative to chemical or electrical blocks,but is rarely used.