If you’re about to have a dental procedure done and feel a little anxious, you’re not alone. Dental anesthesia is used to help patients feel calm and relaxed during their operation. But, like with any type of medication, there are some potential side effects. This blog post will discuss 11 serious dental anesthesia side effects that you need to be aware of. Knowing what to expect can help put your mind at ease and make the experience less frightening.
- Dental Anesthesia: An overview
- Types of dental anesthesia
- Dental Anesthesia Side Effects
- Special precautions when using dental anesthetics
- Risks of dental anesthesia
- A Few Reminders
Dental Anesthesia: An overview
Dental procedures, including medical ones, are occasionally required to preserve your health. Anesthesia is inherent in more sophisticated operations, whether knee surgery or filling a complex cavity, and it’s not a cause for concern when appropriately delivered. Adult and kid patients both feel a sense of calm if their dentist administers anesthesia for their dental procedure. It assures them that they will feel pain relief and more minor discomfort during their treatment.
Types of dental anesthesia
There are several options for dental anesthetics available today. Medications can be taken alone or in combination to provide the best results. It is tailored to provide a safe and successful process.
The type of anesthetics used is also determined by the person’s age, health status, the length of the surgery, and any previous bad responses to anesthetics. Depending on the drug, it works differently. When given directly to a region, the anesthesia can be short-acting or work for prolonged periods when more complex surgery is necessary.
The success of dental anesthetic is determined by:
- the medication
- the target area being anesthetized
- the process
- individual determinants
For dental anesthesia, the American Dental Association notes three types of anesthesia:
- Dental Local anesthesia
- Dental sedation
- General Anesthesia
A local anesthetic solution is used for more straightforward treatments such as cavity fillings, which take less time and are typically less complicated. When you get a local anesthetic, you will be conscious and able to talk. You will not feel any discomfort since the region will be numb.
Most local anesthetics work fast (within 10 minutes) and last for 30 to 60 minutes. A vasopressor, such as epinephrine, is sometimes combined with anesthetics to boost efficacy and prevent the anesthetic effect from spreading to other parts of the body.
Local anesthetics are accessible without a prescription and over the counter in gel, ointment, cream, spray, patch, liquid, and injectable forms.
Most dentists use articaine, lidocaine, bupivacaine, or mepivacaine as their local anesthetic injection.
Sedation has numerous levels and is used to relax a person who may be anxious, relieve discomfort, or remain motionless during dental treatment. It may also result in procedural amnesia. You might be completely aware and responding to orders, semiconscious, or barely conscious. Mild, moderate, and heavy or deep sedation are the three levels of sedation. Monitored anesthesia care, or MAC, is another term for deep sedation. You are typically unaware of your surroundings and can only respond to repetitive or unpleasant stimuli under profound sedation.
The medicine may be administered orally (by pill or liquid), inhaled, intramuscularly (IM), or via your blood vessel (IV). There are additional hazards associated with IV sedation. In moderate or profound sedation, your dentist should closely monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
Most dentists use diazepam, midazolam, propofol, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
General anesthesia is used for more lengthy procedures or if you have a lot of dental anxiety that might interfere with your treatment. You’ll be completely unconscious, have no pain, your muscles will be relaxed, and you’ll have amnesia from the procedure. The medication is given through a face mask or IV. The level of anesthesia depends on the procedure and the individual patient. There are different risks with general anesthesia.
Most dentists use propofol, ketamine, etomidate, isoflurane, desflurane, nitrous oxide, or sevoflurane.
Dental anesthesia side effects
Anesthesia means a lack or loss of sensation. This can be with or without consciousness. Although many would attest to its effectiveness, some patients experience dental anesthetic adverse effects. While most of these dental-injection adverse effects are accounted for when using general anesthesia, side effects from local anesthesia can occasionally arise.
- nausea or vomiting
- sweating or shivering
- hallucinations, delirium, or confusion
- slurred speech
- dry mouth or sore throat
- pain at the site of injection
- lockjaw (trismus) caused by trauma from surgery
These are just some of the reported side effects of anesthetics. Ask your dental care team about your specific medication and any concerns you may have about the drug.
Special precautions when using dental anesthetics
When receiving dental anesthesia, there are special precautions to take into account. Dental anesthetics can affect different people, so it is vital to be aware of the risks and side effects before your procedure. Dental anesthetics are typically safe when used as directed, but some risks are associated with their use.
Some of the special precautions you should take:
- Inform your dentist if you are pregnant or nursing
- Let your dentist know if you have any health conditions, such as heart disease, respiratory problems, kidney issues, or liver disease. They should also note any preexisting neurologic (central nervous system) conditions before administration of the anesthesia.
- Inform your dentist about your child’s special needs or disabilities
- Avoid alcohol and other medications that might interact with the anesthesia medication prescribed to you.
- Do not eat a few hours before your appointment.
- Come to your appointment on time.
- Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated
Risks of dental anesthesia
Dental anesthesia administration is a standard procedure used to numb the mouth and help you relax during oral and maxillofacial surgery or procedure.
The majority of people have no adverse responses to local anesthetic injections. Sedation and general anesthesia have more hazards, particularly in elderly persons and those with significant health issues.
There is also an elevated risk if you have a history of bleeding problems or use drugs that raise your risk of bleeding, such as aspirin. If you are using pain drugs such as opioids or gabapentin, or anxiety medications like benzodiazepines, inform your dentist or surgeon so that they can adjust your anesthesia correctly.
- allergic reaction to the drug
- nerve damage causing numbness, paresthesia, or paralysis
- state of coma
- breathing difficulties
- heart attack
- hypotension (low blood pressure)
A Few Reminders:
Anxiety about dental treatments is typical, but it might make treatment more difficult. This is where anesthesia and sedation come to the rescue.
It is critical to share any of your worries regarding the surgery and your expectations with your dental care team ahead of time.
- Inquire about the medication that will be utilized and what to expect during and after therapy.
- Share your medical history, including any allergies and drugs you’re currently using.
- Make sure that this covers over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, and supplements.
- Ask about any particular instructions you must follow before and after the treatment. This includes what you eat and drink before and after your therapy.
- Inquire if you need to plan transportation after the surgery and any other information you want.
- Your dental professional will provide you with instructions to follow before and after the operation. They’ll also provide a way for you to contact them if you have any complications or questions.
Many people hate going to the dentist. The sound of the drill and fear of pain can cause people to avoid going, hurting their oral and overall health. Studies show that local, sedation, and general anesthesia methods for oral surgery are safe and help put patients at ease.
However, there are some risks and adverse reactions, especially if you have specific health problems. Some patients even voice out issues about the topical anesthetic their dentist used. To avoid allergic reactions or adverse outcomes, it’s vital to provide oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentists with a detailed medical history that includes whether you’ve ever reacted to anesthesia if you have any allergies. Any medications or supplements you’re currently taking.