Painless Dentistry: What are the Options Available?

Painless dentistry is the process of eliminating a patient’s pain by either using local anesthetic or oral sedation medication. These methods help take away some anxiety and other symptoms that might occur during treatment to make it more bearable for patients who are already stressed out about having dental work done.

You are not alone if you have an intense fear of the dentist. Painless dentistry aims to make your dental treatments as pain-free and comfortable for you as possible, so that you can enjoy healthier teeth without worrying about a painful or anxious experience.

In essence, painless dentistry is for those who are fearful about visiting the dentist or having any kind of dental work done.

Painless Dentistry Options

Some of the painless dentistry options available that can minimise pain and discomfort include:

Local Anesthesia

Local anaesthesia is the most common method that dentists use, and it involves injecting a numbing solution directly into the gums. Depending on what the patient is getting done at the dentist’s office—a filling or a root canal, for example—the local anesthesia will be injected into different areas of the mouth to either numb an entire region or just one small area.

Single Tooth Anesthesia (The Wand)

For patients that have been avoiding the dentist because of fear, this new technology can give them peace of mind. The Wand replaces the traditional dental syringe to deliver an anesthetic solution directly into the gums through a fine needle attached to an easy-to-use pen-shaped hand-piece that makes it bearable for even those who find needles scary.

The Wand makes the dental experience more painless than ever before. With this computer-assisted technology patients can rest easy knowing that the anaesthetic flow rate and pressure of injection will be controlled to ensure a more pleasant treatment for them with no pain at all.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative that can be inhaled through a nosepiece during the procedure. It is colourless and slightly sweet smelling. A smile will inevitably find its way onto the patient’s face after breathing in the airy substance for 30 seconds or more. Once inhaled, nitrous gas can make patients feel relaxed, making uncomfortable procedures easy and painless.

Intravenous Sedation

Patients also have the option to have a sedative administered intravenously into their bloodstream. This places them under conscious sedation. While this will not fully put patients to sleep, they will be less aware of the treatment that is being done.

Patients can also be easily roused after the procedure and they can resume normal activities within the day. However, consuming alcohol, driving, and doing other activities that will require concentration should be avoided at least for the next 24 to 48 hours.

General Anesthesia

Procedures that will require general anesthesia like extensive dental work are often carried out in a hospital setting. Patients will be placed in a sleep-like state while the procedure is performed.

A dental anesthesiologist will be monitoring the patient’s vital signs closely. Once the procedure has been completed, the patient will be placed under observation before being allowed to go home.

It is important not to let your fear of pain hinder you from getting the dental treatment you need. With experienced dentists and painless dentistry, there are now various options that can ensure patients will feel minimal pain during the treatment. Painless dentistry can also help ensure the dental visit is a comfortable and pleasant one.