People who worry about the occasional pain that comes with visiting the dentist can find relief in a variety of anesthetics. These temporary pain-relievers come in three main types: topical, local and general. Topical anesthetics help relieve pain on the surface of the mouth and generally come in the form of an ointment, liquid or spray.
They can be administered as both a prescription and over-the-counter medication. At the dentist, topical anesthetics may be used to numb a person’s gum in order to apply a local anesthetic or to relieve minor sores and pains on the surface tissue. Topical treatments generally last only 15 to 30 minutes… (American Health Advantage)