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Dental Medications (cont.)

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Anesthetics

Topical anesthetics come in ointments, sprays or liquids. Topical anesthetics are used to prevent pain on the surface level of the lining of the mouth. They also can be used to reduce pain from superficial sores in the mouth or to numb an area before an injectable local anesthetic is given.

Commonly used topical anesthetics include Anbesol and Orajel.

Local anesthetics are injected into the deeper tissues of the mouth and work by inhibiting the impulses from pain-sensing nerves and hence are used to reduce pain especially in procedures involving drilling, and cutting of the tissue. Common local anesthetics are 2% lidocaine hydrochloride and 2% mepivacaine (Carbocaine).

General anesthetics are inhaled and include anti-anxiety agents, such as nitrous oxide, that help to ensure relaxation during dental visits and often may be used along with local anesthetics.

Note: Anesthetics are used for temporary pain relief, and should not be used for long durations of time.

Medications used to treat dental infections

Dental infections include infections that develop after dental surgery, for example:



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