You probably know that dental sedatives induce only a numb feeling even when the drill is boring through your tooth. Then again, do you have any idea how they work?
From a scientific point of view, pain is the mechanism that allows the body to react to defend itself from potentially harmful stimuli.When a mosquito stings you in the arm, the common reaction is to slap the insect as quickly as your reflexes can. The body produced a prompt response to the pain you felt when the mosquito stung you.
Normally, the body wants to get away from the source of pain. However, this poses a problem for dentists, especially when a patient’s dental condition warrants a tooth extraction right away. If the patient doesn’t run away in the middle of the operation, he may respond with gag reflexes, among others. As a result, the dentist is unable to perform effectively.
This is where dental sedatives come in. The drugs take their toll on a certain neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining the brain’s quick activity, but only for a while. The sedatives slow brain activity such that most people administered with it hardly remember a thing about the dental operation. The effect is more potent with intravenous sedation than with oral sedation. This is because the sedatives are already in the bloodstream.