There are two classes of anesthesia, general and local. Local, which is sometimes used at a dentist’s office in the form of Novocain, inhibits ion channels, such as the sodium channels, in the cell membrane of nerve cells. This causes the nerve transmission to be blocked, and due to that blockage the signal can not pass and get directed to the central nervous system. This is where it would have been “read” and a direction then be given on how to act. Now, thanks to the blockage there is no awareness of any of the pain that is occurring, causing it to be so beneficial in procedures such as filling cavities. General anesthesia’s mechanism on the other hand, is not very well known, though it has been used for over a century. Obviously, some kind of blockage is still occurring but to this day scientists are unsure on how this occurs and what exactly is being blocked since we still remain breathing, but just can not feel pain.
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