TONY MCCONNELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY MCCONNELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dental anaesthetic. Dental workers monitoring an anaesthetised patient during a surgical procedure. Only serious dental problems require a general anaesthetic before treatment. These usually involve periodontal (gum) surgery or multiple tooth extractions. For most procedures a barbiturate drug is injected into the vein, and anaesthesia is maintained using a mixture of anaesthetic gases (for example, nitrous oxide and oxygen) breathed in through a mask.
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