When you're preparing to have a tooth pulled for the first time, you might have a lot of questions. While it's perfectly natural to be concerned about an important procedure, you shouldn't worry. For example, if you're concerned about the prospect of general anesthesia, then read this guide to find out if it's really necessary for a tooth extraction and what your options are.
Advantages of General Anesthesia
There's no doubt about it: for most people, general anesthesia is a good choice when having one or more teeth extracted. General anesthesia ensures that you don't feel a thing and are completely unconscious during the procedure so that you're not feeling any anxiety or fear at the sounds going on in the operating room.
General anesthesia does have some minor downsides. For example, after a procedure like this, you can't drive yourself home after getting general anesthesia. And in addition to that, some people are allergic to general anesthesia and can't receive it. If you're worried because you don't want general anesthesia or have been told that you can't have general anesthesia, then don't fret: there are still options for you.
Getting It Done Without It
General anesthesia isn't the only way to remove a tooth. You can have a tooth extracted without it, and you shouldn't need to worry about pain even then.
Getting a tooth extracted without general anesthesia does, unfortunately, lose some advantages, like your ability to essentially nap through the procedure. However, it opens up other possibilities, like the ability to drive yourself home after you've had the tooth pulled.
When you don't get general anesthesia for dental surgery, your dentist will take action to ensure that you still have a pain-free experience. They'll accomplish this with multiple injections of Novocaine or another nerve blocker that will prevent you from feeling anything. This is called local anesthesia, and it's completely different from general anesthesia. For most people who can't receive general anesthesia, local is still completely safe. However, you should, of course, consult with your dentist and doctor to be sure that it's right for you.
General anesthesia can be avoided if that's either your choice or medical need. When you consult with your dentist about having a tooth extraction procedure performed, make sure to raise your concerns and discuss them in full with your dentist. They'll give you the option of local anesthesia, and you can rest easy knowing that your tooth will be taken care of without being put under.