All you need to know
What is general anesthesia?
When is the right time?
Is it safe?
What are the types?
Oral surgery is a procedure that many people require at some point in their lives. Whether it’s pulling a tooth, extracting impacted wisdom teeth, or more invasive procedures like reconstruction, most of us will find ourselves sitting in that chair for more than a routine check-up.
Many people refer to general anesthesia as “being put to sleep”. This type of anesthesia uses intravenous (IV) sedatives and produces a more profound anesthesia experience with no memory of the actual procedure. This method is typically used for more intensive procedures such as impacted wisdom tooth removal, dental implant placement, or any larger oral surgical procedure. You will be completely unconscious during the procedure. You will not be able to drive yourself home after undergoing general anesthesia, so make sure to bring a friend or family member with you!
The intravenous (IV) sedation process involves administering medication through a vein. The medication is fast acting and is the most effective form of sedation for oral surgeries other than general anesthesia. Patients typically have no recollection of the operation. Like oral medication, patients will need assistance getting home and will feel groggy following the appointment.
What type of medication is used during general anesthesia?
The types of medication used in general anesthesia for oral surgery typically include a combination of pain relieving medication and sedatives. The combination of medication used in general anesthesia for oral surgery as opposed to general anesthesia in other medical specialties normally does not involve the use of paralytic drugs. This method of anesthetizing normally doesn’t require intubation either. Instead, a strong combination of sedatives and pain medication will keep a patient perfectly comfortable and asleep during treatment. Since intubation isn’t required, the oral cavity isn’t obstructed for treatment.
Is general anesthesia safe?
Anytime anesthetizing medication is used, very strict protocols are followed to ensure patient safety. All medication is carefully administered and its effects are closely monitored. Our doctor and staff possess the knowledge and experience to respond to emergencies if they arise. Since medication is fed intravenously, we can adjust its dosage quickly and easily.
Other types of Anesthesia
LOCAL ANESTHESIA - While using a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, patients remain fully awake and aware. However, the area around the injection point doesn’t feel any pain. It’s typically used during minimally invasive procedures, such as removing an erupted tooth.
NITROUS OXIDE (Laughing Gas) - Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a form of conscious sedation. It’s administered through a mask worn by the patient who then breaths in a steady combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. It is used with simple as well as more complicated procedures.
ORAL MEDICATION - The oral medication method typically requires that patients take anti-anxiety pills such as Valium, Halcion, or Ativan, to achieve conscious sedation. This method is usually more effective at sedating patients than nitrous oxide and is also not costly to administer. Patients usually take the medication roughly an hour before the procedure.