Anesthesia, sedation and general anesthesia. What and when to use?

In dentistry, various painkillers that help patients to go through procedures easier are used quite often. And the most effective anesthesia method is selected depending on the complexity of the manipulation and the clinical condition of the patient.

Anesthetic manipulation methods

In total there are 3 main methods of pain relief: anesthesia, sedation and general anesthesia (narcosis).

Dental anesthesia

анестезияThe most common way to avoid pain when treating teeth is to use anesthesia. Anesthesia is a minor manipulation in which a substance called "Articaine" is injected through a gum in the area of ​​nerves using a special syringe. It disables the nerve endings and blocks the supply of pain signals to the brain for a short period of time. The effect of anesthesia lasts about 1-2 hours, at higher doses, the action can be extended up to 5-6 hours.

Anesthesia is suitable for all types of manipulations and is necessary for both minor and major surgical interventions.


If you are extremely afraid of dentists, you have high blood pressure and you are afraid to go and treat your teeth, then, in this case, it is better to use sedation. Sedation is a way to “muffle” consciousness, by introducing a person into a state of drowsiness. Special anesthetics used in sedation block certain parts of the brain, which are responsible for increased anxiety and fear. It is as if the patient is under hypnosis, during which he does not feel anything, but is well aware of everything that is happening around him.

Types of sedation

седацияIn total there are 3 types of sedation: oral, inhalation and intravenous.

Oral. The patient is given a tablet of the drug (dormicum) about an hour before the main sedation (intravenous or inhalation). This technique allows to facilitate the further introduction of anesthetic into the body. But oral sedation is not used in all cases.

Inhalation (laughing gas). During this sedation, the patient is put on an oxygen mask where nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is passed. This procedure is harmless to the body, but it helps to get rid of both fear and pain. Often, this method is used during dental treatment in children.

Intravenous. Unlike inhalation, intravenous sedation is used in the treatment of adult patients. A sedative drug is injected directly into a vein, from where it enters the brain through the bloodstream, contributing to the complete and instant relaxation of the body.

IMPORTANT! Before sedation, anesthesia is also performed without fail in order to completely turn off pain.

General anesthesia

Dental treatment under general anesthesia means a complete "shutdown" of the patient. With general anesthesia, almost all the functions of a person are suppressed during the operation. The patient does not remember anything and does not feel pain, but after anesthesia, it will take some more time to recover.

общий наркозDentistry under general anesthesia is performed medically and accompanied by an anesthesiologist. He makes an injection, after which the patient goes into a deep sleep. Then, a tube is inserted into the patient’s mouth (or nose) to provide air supply and a cotton swab is placed so that water does not enter the lungs.

Dental treatment under anesthesia is carried out in a specially equipped operating room, where the defibrillator, cardiac monitor, pressure measuring device, pulse oximeter and lung ventilator must be located. All the indicators of these devices are monitored by an anesthesiologist to be able to intervene in time if something goes wrong.

The advantage of general anesthesia is that the time of the operation can be significantly reduced. For example, if under anesthesia the doctor needed 4-6 hours for the operation, then with general anesthesia this time can be reduced to 1.5-2 hours.

Important! In order to avoid tragic consequences (they happen very rarely, but still happen), it is necessary to provide all the information to the anesthesiologist as thoroughly and accurately as possible. What are you sick with, what are you allergic to, are there any complaints, etc. An anesthesiologist needs to know which emergency medicines he can use. Therefore, take this with full responsibility and all seriousness.

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