What Local Dental Anaesthesia Is, What Types Exist, And How Long Can Its Effects Last?

oral anaesthesia

Without oral anaesthesia, many dental treatments that concern us today could not be carried out without exerting hardly any pain on the patient. This technique is widely known and used daily, both in medical interventions and in the dental field.

Today we will explain what dental anaesthesia is, what types exist and how long its effects can last. If you are someone who fears needles, perhaps today’s article will help you learn more about our way of working. Take notes and collect all the necessary information to face, safely and without fear, this sedation technique.

What is dental anaesthesia, and what is it made of?


Dental anaesthesia is the technique that allows both doctors and dentists to eliminate the sensitivity of a specific area of ​​the patient’s body. A method that helps practitioners carry out their work more comfortably and safely.

In fact, by applying oral anaesthesia, the person undergoing surgery does not feel pain during the treatment. Instead, when the person is under anaesthesia, he feels much more relaxed and pain-free.

Most local anaesthetics in dentistry are composed of lidocaine and tetracaine, two drugs that block the sodium ion channels required for impulse initiation and conduction.


Anaesthesia and sedation techniques


As you can already imagine, and depending on the dental treatment that the patient is going to undergo, there is a wide variety of forms of sedation. At the Els Quinze dental centre, we use the following types of dental anaesthesia:

 Local anaesthesia 

They are used for countless dental treatments, such as fillings, endodontics and extractions of all kinds. Local anaesthesia is the most widely used technique in dentistry to eliminate sensitivity in the mouth.

 Oral anaesthetic spray


Also present in gel or cream format. This type of dental anaesthesia is used to numb the operated area for a short time. Something that is usually done in patients with fear or dread of the needle’s prick with which the anaesthetic is applied.

 Mild sedation with nitrogen oxide


Unlike local anaesthesia, mild sedation avoids using a needle to introduce anaesthesia into the patient’s body. This technique consists of applying nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask and, fundamentally, is used in periodontal maintenance treatments.


Conscious sedation


A technique only used in patients who feel fear or anxiety about the dental treatment that is going to be performed. This method must be prescribed by a specialist or anesthesiologist since it must have a suitable combination of medications to help relax the patient and block the pain that may be felt during treatment.

It is essential to carry out some tests before the patient requests conscious sedation. This way, you will be given a blood coagulation test, an electrocardiogram and other questions about your general health. All this is to avoid future problems that may occur during treatment.

General anaesthesia


They are also known as induced coma, a technique that is not carried out in the dentist’s office but is carried out in a hospital setting.

General anaesthesia is usually the most indicated for certain oral surgeries, such as orthognathic surgery, dental implants or the extraction of wisdom teeth.

Types of local anaesthesia in dentistry

Taking into account everything that we have explained to you so far, as a general rule, local dental anaesthesia is used in most dental treatments. We see below the three types of regional anaesthesia with which we work daily:



The most common local anaesthesia used by our dentists. It is the one that is punctured or injected into the lower part of the mouth. Specifically, very close to the more inferior dental nerve. As a result, the right or left part of the mouth is numb, as well as the middle of the lip and the tongue.




It is the type of local anaesthesia that is placed in the upper arch of the oral surface. This technique works as a reinforcement for trunk-type anaesthesia when it has not had a good effect or if it is necessary to numb a larger oral area.




Unlike truncal or infiltrative anaesthesia, it is not applied to the gum but is injected between the ligament and the dental bone. It is usually a type of anaesthesia indicated for patients who need a root canal. Treatments that require mor intervention time and complexity by the dentist.


As a general rule, between 3 or 4 hours, from that time, the patient will gradually recover complete oral sensitivity and mobility.

However, when the needle physically touches the nerve, the affected area may be numb for several days. Although, this should not worry you since it is an entirely reversible effect.


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