How Do Inhaled Anesthetics Work?

Reviewed on 6/15/2021

WHAT ARE INHALED ANESTHETICS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Dentists use inhaled anesthetics to replace missing or damaged teeth (restorative procedure). A combination of tetracaine and oxymetazoline works best during a dental restorative procedure. Tetracaine is a local anesthetic that works by inhibiting the nerves, causing temporary numbness of the area. Inhaled anesthetics act within nerve fibers to inhibit the rapid inflow of sodium necessary for impulse generation. When there is no formation of impulse, it can lead to temporary numbness of that area.

Oxymetazoline, on the other hand, stimulates the adrenergic receptors, thereby causing:

  • Constriction of the blood vessels
  • Reduction in the nasal blood flow

Adrenergic receptors are the sympathetic nervous system—the nervous system that increases heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and eye pupil size. The sympathetic nervous system releases chemical messengers such as noradrenaline and adrenaline. The primary function of adrenaline and noradrenaline is to constrict the blood vessels (vasoconstriction) and together, they cause numbness in the mouth.

HOW ARE INHALED ANESTHETICS USED?

Inhaled anesthetics are given via the intranasal route as a spray solution during a dental restorative procedure. The spray is administered 10 minutes before the procedure.

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF INHALED ANESTHETICS?

Some of the side effects of inhaled anesthetics include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF INHALED ANESTHETICS?

Generic and brand names of inhaled anesthetics include:

SLIDESHOW

Mouth Problems: TMJ, Canker Sores, Painful Gums and More See Slideshow
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/anesthetics-inhaled-dental

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