What the brain teaches us about anesthesia

Your brain plays a pivotal role in your oral comfort. While we’ve relied on local anesthesia for well over a hundred years, we’re only now beginning to understand how the brain functions in relation to dental pain.

In one study, 28 patients volunteered for a placebo-controlled functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study when various measures of stimuli were applied to the teeth with and without anesthesia. Electric tooth stimulation continued for 16 minutes during which subjects indicated pain by pressing an alarm bell.

The MRI details revealed that certain areas of the brain were stimulated after dental pain and were apparently functioning to help mitigate the pain. With anesthesia, those pain-relief sites stayed inactive, indicating that the anesthesia was effectively controlling pain and leaving the brain at rest.

Your brain is specially wired to cope with dental pain but thanks to anesthesia, it doesn’t have to! We offer sedation dentistry that will set your mind–and your brain–at ease.


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Smiles by Shields
3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217