A Guide to Dental Anesthesia

Whether you get local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia is usually dependent on how difficult the dentist thinks your procedure will be. Here’s your guide to the different types of dental anesthesia available.




Local Anesthesia: Under local anesthesia you are awake, you may feel pressure, but you won’t feel pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon administers a local anesthetic with one or more injections near the site of each extraction. Before you receive an injection, your dentist or surgeon will likely apply a substance to your gums to numb them. You’re awake during the tooth extraction. Although you’ll feel some pressure and movement, you shouldn’t experience pain.


Sedation: Under sedation you are awake, but you have lessened consciousness and won’t remember much. Your doctor gives you sedation anesthesia through an IV line in your arm. You don’t feel any pain and will have limited memory of the procedure. You’ll also receive local anesthesia to numb your gums.


General Anesthesia: Under general anesthesia, you are completely under and won’t remember anything. In special situations, you may be offered general anesthesia. You may inhale medication through your nose or have an IV line in your arm, or both. Your surgical team closely monitors your medication, breathing, temperature, fluids, and blood pressure. You’ll experience no pain. Local anesthesia is also given to help with postoperative discomfort. A patient may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures, depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implant placed will choose general anesthesia. General anesthesia may be necessary if local anesthesia fails to anesthetize the surgical site, which often occurs in the presence of infection.


In order to determine which type of anesthesia to use for your extractions, you will need to discuss your anxiety level and the complexity of the procedure. If you have been putting off having your wisdom teeth removed, choosing the right type of sedation can alleviate a great deal of apprehension about your extraction.


At Englewood Dental, we’re always happy to help. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect online! 

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