Dental Pain-Relief Options

Do you associate pain with the dentist’s office? If so, you are not alone! The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. We want you to feel confident and not fearful about your future dental visits. That is why we have provided a summary of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) article “Anesthesia and Sedation” where various pain-relief options are discussed.

#1 Local Anesthesia – A type of anesthetic that prevents pain in a specific area of your mouth during treatment. It numbs the mouth’s tissues by blocking the nerves that sense or transmit pain.

  • Topical Anesthetic – An anesthetic (commonly known as numbing gel) used to numb an area in the mouth to prepare it for the injection of a local anesthetic.
  • Injectable Anesthetic – An anesthetic (commonly known as Novocain) that is injected into the mouth’s tissue. It is used in procedures such as filling cavities, preparing teeth for crowns and for treating gum disease.

#2 Analgesics – A pain reliever that is typically prescribed to relieve pain after treatment.

  • Non-narcotic – The most commonly used analgesic to relieve a toothache or pain after a dental treatment. These include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen.
  • Narcotic – An analgesic (such as opioids) that treats more severe pain by acting on the central nervous system.

#3 Sedatives – A sedative agent administered before or during dental procedures.

  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) – An inhaled sedative agent that enables you to feel calm and comfortable during a dental procedure.
  • Oral Sedative (pills)
  • Intravenous Sedative (injection) – A sedative that reduces consciousness.
  • General Anesthesia – A sedative that causes the temporary loss of consciousness.

**Not all dentists administer all forms of sedatives, such as intravenous sedatives and general anesthesia.

Ultimately, the choice of which form of pain relief or sedation to use is a decision that needs to be made between you and your doctor. Several factors to be considered are the type of procedure, your overall health, your history of allergies and your anxiety level. Whatever treatment is decided upon, you can rest assured knowing that dentists and pain don’t need to be associated anymore. At Boulevard Dental Associates, your comfort is our priority!


Anesthesia and Sedation –