Methods of Anxiety and Pain Control
Dentistry has continued to build upon this foundation and has been instrumental in developing safe and effective sedative and anesthetic techniques that have enabled millions of people to access dental care. Without these modalities, many patient populations such as young children, physically and mentally challenged individuals and many other dental patients could not access the comprehensive care that relieves pain and restores form and function. The use of sedation and anesthesia by appropriately trained dentists in the dental office continues to have a remarkable record of safety. It is very important to understand that anxiety, cooperation and pain can be addressed by both psychological and pharmacological techniques and local anesthetics, which are the foundation of pain control in dentistry. Sedation may diminish fear and anxiety, but do not obliterate the pain response and therefore, expertise and in-depth knowledge of local anesthetic techniques and pharmacology is necessary.
Local anesthetics are used to control regional pain. Sedative drugs and techniques may control fear and anxiety, but do not by themselves fully control pain and, thus, are commonly used in conjunction with local anesthetics.