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Dental Pain and Anxiety Control

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Methods of Anxiety and Pain Control

Pain Control in Dentistry: Pain may be associated to oral cavity diseases or to dental procedures. With regard to procedures, if pain is adequately controlled by local anesthesia, the procedure will mildly interfere with painful sensitivity. However pain is often associated to dental care, so that more than 60% of dental patients report some pain during their dental visits. To minimize or prevent pain during dental procedures, local or regional anesthesia is induced. However, fear of anesthesia and pain are factors encouraging patients to avoid the dentist.


Diminution or elimination of pain. Relative analgesia (RA), defined as the use of inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide and oxygen, is one of the most common pharmacological behavior management techniques used to provide sedation and analgesia for dental patients.

Local Anesthesia

Technique to render part of the body insensitive to pain without affecting consciousness by the topical application or regional injection of a drug.

General Anesthesia

Dental general anaesthesia (DGA) is a very efficient treatment modality, but is considered only in the last resort. Drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. Patients undergoing general anesthesia often cannot maintain their own airway and breathe on their own.

Minimal and Moderate sedation

In addition to inherent risks associated with the dental procedure, sedation provides an additional risk to the Procedure. Stages of sedation is a continuum from fully conscious, minimal sedation, moderate, deep sedation to full unconsciousness which is consistent with general anesthesia where all protective reflexes get lost. The likelihood of adverse events increases with increasing the depth of sedation. Procedural sedation can be defined as “a technique in which the use of a drug or drugs produces a state of depression of the central nervous system enabling treatment to be carried out, but during which verbal contact with the patient is maintained throughout the procedure.” The drugs and techniques used to provide procedural sedation for dental treatment should carry a margin of safety wide enough to render loss of consciousness unlikely.