518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
Call 09 834 6359

If you’re nervous about your dental treatment, you have options — there’s anaesthesia to control pain and sedation to help you relax.

We’re going to find out all about anaesthesia and sedation at the dentist in our latest post.

Dental anaesthesia

Your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic (numbing a body part without you falling asleep) for many common procedures, such as fillings or crowns.

They will apply a topical anaesthetic to the area before injecting the local anaesthetic, which will take effect after just a few minutes. Don’t worry — your dentist will check that you can’t feel any pain before they start work.

Once your dental work is completed, your mouth will feel numb for a few hours. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time to allow your body to recover and to ensure you don’t accidentally hurt yourself.

Some people feel sleepy after dental anaesthesia, but this shouldn’t last long.

Your dentist may also recommend that you take painkillers after your treatment — usually over-the-counter ones like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

For more involved procedures, you may need a general anaesthetic, where you are unconscious throughout.

General anaesthesia is sometimes used for wisdom tooth removal or for other more complex treatments and is given in a hospital setting.

Your dentist will discuss which option is best for you, according to your health, fitness and the type of procedure you are having.

Sedation dentistry

There is another option for pain relief and to help you relax, and that’s sedation dentistry. It’s often used for people who have:

  • Dental anxiety or phobia
  • A fear of needles
  • Claustrophobia
  • A sensitive gag reflex
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • Reduced sensitivity to local anaesthesia
  • Difficulty controlling their movements
  • Special needs, for example physical, behavioural or cognitive

Sedation dentistry involves giving you sedative drugs to calm and relax you while you undergo your procedure.

There are different levels of sedation available, depending on your procedure and your individual needs.

You may be offered nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’) through a mask or nosepiece. This is the lightest level of sedation and wears off quickly after your procedure.

Your dentist may recommend oral sedation in the form of a pill to be taken around an hour before your procedure. This may make you fall asleep during the treatment.

Or you may have intravenous sedation where your dentist gives you medication through an IV (intravenous) line straight into your bloodstream. This means you will fall asleep and you will have no memory of your procedure.

Good to know…

If you have any questions about sedation or anaesthesia, your dentist will be happy to talk these through with you.

You should also inform your dentist if you are living with a health condition such as allergy, high blood pressure or heart disease so they can ensure that the anaesthesia or sedation they use is right for you.

We’re here to help

Here at Opal Dental, we welcome all patients. If you have concerns about pain during treatment or are nervous about going to the dentist, give us a call.

We can talk you through the options for anaesthesia and select the best one for you.

So don’t put off that check-up any longer! Our friendly team are here to help make your experience hassle and stress-free!

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