Several methods of anesthesia are available. The method of anesthesia that is chosen for or by a patient depends upon the nature of the surgical procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension. When it comes to anesthesia, our first priority is the patient’s comfort and safety. If you have any concerns regarding the type of anesthesia that will be administered during your oral surgery procedure, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your doctor at the time of your consultation
Local anesthetic (“dental freezing”) involves administering a local anesthetic solution (e.g.: lidocaine) using a needle into the tissue in the mouth. The sensation of pain of pain is removed so that the oral surgery procedure can be tolerated. Local anesthetic does not remove the sensation of pressure (e.g.: pushing/pulling a tooth) and the patient is fully awake and aware of what of what is happening. Sometimes this technique is combined with an oral sedative to help a patient feel more relaxed during the procedure.
IV (intravenous) sedation, also known as conscious sedation, is a form of anesthesia for patients who are nervous and/or want to be asleep for the surgery. During your consultation appointment, the doctor will evaluate your medical history to determine if you are a candidate for IV sedation in the office.
A patient who undergoes IV sedation first has an IV started in a vein in the arm. The medication is then administered through the IV line, and within one to two minutes, the patient will fall asleep (sedation). Once a person is sedated, the surgical procedure will commence.
During this period of sedation, the patient is continually monitored by our doctors and staff. Specialized monitoring equipment that is used includes a heart rhythm monitor, end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximetry.
After the surgery is complete, it usually takes about 30 minutes for a patient to wake up and be ready to go home. A responsible adult is required to escort the patient back home either by car or taxi. The patient will also have some numbness in the mouth for a few hours since local anesthetic (freezing) is administered while asleep. It is recommended that another adult is at home with the patient for the rest of the day to help as needed.
General anesthesia is the deepest sleep and usually used for more complex oral surgical procedures such as the extraction of difficult teeth (e.g.: impacted wisdom teeth) or for complex dental implant surgeries. An anesthesiologist is present to put the patient to sleep and monitor the patient. General anesthesia involves placing a breathing tube to maintain proper breathing. Our anesthesiologist evaluates each patient for suitability for a general anesthetic, and will see a patient for an anesthesia consult prior to surgery if the patient has an extensive medical history.
After the surgery is complete, it usually takes about 15-30 minutes for a patient to wake up and be ready to go home. A responsible adult is required to escort the patient back home either by car or taxi. The patient will also have some numbness in the mouth for a few hours since local anesthetic (freezing) is administered while asleep. It is recommended that another adult is at home with the patient for the rest of the day to help as needed.