Many people experience anxiety about visiting the dentist and this can keep them from seeking proper dental care. Dental anesthesia allows patients to feel a sense of comfort about complex or lengthy procedures. This may enable some patients to undergo elective procedures they have previously feared. Several methods are used to help to control pain, lessen discomfort and assist in relaxation. Depending on the type of anesthesia used, discomfort during the dental procedure can be significantly reduced or completely eliminated.
Types of Anesthesia
Anesthesia can be administered through several different methods to reduce or eliminate discomfort during dental procedures. Your dentist will determine which type of anesthesia is best for you based on the type of procedure and your personal preferences.
- Local anesthetic is injected into the mouth to numb the area to be treated and block the nerves that transmit pain. It is commonly used during fillings, treating gum disease or preparing teeth for crowns.
- Sedation is usually administered by inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This form of anesthesia is commonly combined with local anesthetic to help relieve anxieties.
- General anesthesia is the strongest form of anesthesia available for dental procedures, and involves intravenous drugs to produce a temporary loss of consciousness.
Dentoalveolar surgery relates to procedures of the teeth and bones of the mouth, especially extractions and for supportive measures.
Exposure is a surgical procedure performed on teeth that are unerupted or impacted. Your dentist will first place braces on the teeth to open up space for the impacted tooth and surgically expose the crown of the tooth by removing gum tissue and overlying bone. The dentist then repositions the tooth with additional orthodontic treatments. The entire exposure process usually takes about two years to complete, but prevents unnecessary tooth loss.
Placement of Temporary Anchorage Devices
Temporary anchorages devices are used in orthodontics to provide extra support needed to correctly shift a tooth. It is a system of small screws that are embedded into the bone to act as an anchor. Performed using a topical anesthetic, they can be inserted into the bone between the roots of teeth or on the palate.Temporary anchorage devices can also speed treatment time and minimize the need for space maintainers or headgear appliances.
Stem Cell Harvesting
Teeth are one of the most abundant sources for stem cells in your body. These undifferentiated, immature cells have the ability to grow into any type of specialized cell and are being investigated in therapies for a myriad of conditions. Loose baby teeth, wisdom teeth removal or a scheduled tooth extraction provide perfect opportunities to bank the stem cells found in the pulp of your teeth. Following an extraction, we place your tooth in a StemSave'sTM recovery and transport system. This will keep your tooth healthy and nourished while it is being rushed to the lab, where the viability of the cells is tested. If the cells are healthy, they will be cryogenically preserved, stored and monitored until you need them.
A tori is a bony growth that can form on either the upper or lower jaw. Associated with bruxism, tories fluctuate in size. The procedure of removing a tori entails reducing the amount of bone that has built up. The oral surgeon will most likely use a laser that can safely eliminate all excess bone as well as soft and hard tissue in the area without damaging any nearby structures. After the removal is complete, the laser can be used to reshape the tissue before suturing takes place.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
The wisdom teeth, or third molars, develop between the ages of 15 and 25. Most mouths are too small to support wisdom teeth, making an extraction procedure necessary. If not removed, the wisdom teeth may cause pain, infection and swelling of the face or gum line.
Extraction of the wisdom teeth involves opening the gum tissue and removing any bone that covers the tooth. The connecting tissue will be separated so that the entire tooth can be removed. The area is then sutured closed and covered with gauze to control bleeding. Most wisdom teeth procedures can be performed in your dentist's office under local anesthesia, although some patients may require general anesthesia if all four teeth are to be removed at once.
When recovering from wisdom teeth extraction, patients will be prescribed painkillers to speed up the recovery process and reduce pain. Patients should eat only soft foods and liquids for the first few days after surgery. Patients should also gently rinse their mouth with warm salt water to relieve swelling and pain. If needed, stitches are removed within a few days.