Anesthetic injections refer to the use of a needle to administer anesthesia directly to a particular area of the body. They are commonly used in minor surgeries or procedures, such as dental work. Unlike general or regional anesthesia, anesthetic injections, or local anesthesia, will only numb the immediate area where it is applied. This is associated with fewer complications and discomfort than more widespread anesthetics. Anesthetic injections can also refer to any type of anesthesia, however, since they are all administered through a needle.
There are several major types of anesthesia, and different types are used in different situations. Most anesthetic injections refer to localized anesthesia. This means that numbing medication is injected into one particular part of the body to numb it to pain during a medical procedure. For instance, the gums are numbed to all sensation during a tooth extraction or root canal so that patients can stay more comfortable. This is done by injected medicine directly to the gums themselves.
While this is the most common type of anesthetic injections, any type of anesthesia could fall into this category. Regional and general anesthesia are delivered through a needle injected into the spine. This numbs a larger section of the body during more complicated procedures. An epidural during childbirth is one example of anesthesia that used to numb a large area of the body.
Anesthesia is usually only used when absolutely necessary. There are complications associated with its use, so less invasive pain medications are typically used as a first line of defense. Young children, and especially infants, may be particularly sensitive to the effects of anesthesia. Local anesthesia is typically used whenever possible because it causes the fewest potential risks.
The most common types of produces for which anesthetic injections are used include minor surgeries and other procedures where extreme pain would be experienced without a powerful drug. Local anesthesia is used when possible, followed by regional anesthesia. Complications can occur in some cases. These can include full or partial paralysis, trouble breathing, and even heart issues. Patients with pre-existing conditions are more at risk for severe complications.