The most common type of local anesthetic is lidocaine, which is administered by injection into the surgical area. The use of a local anesthetic alone is recommended only for simple surgical procedures, such as gum treatments and tooth extractions. Local anesthetic will always be used in conjunction with any other methods of sedation you might elect to have done.
For simple oral surgical treatments, such as extractions, wisdom tooth removal, and implant placement, a combination of local anesthetic and nitrous oxide may be recommended.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is administered through a small mask that fits over your nose. It is an effective way to calm anxiety and raise your pain threshold. At the end of your surgery, you’ll be brought out of anesthesia, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear, so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
Your oral surgeon is also licensed by the state to administer general anesthesia, so you can receive the care you need in the comfort of our office. General anesthesia is available for patients who need all types of oral surgery. Because of the anxiety related to dental procedures, you may choose general anesthesia for procedures as simple as wisdom tooth removal and implant placement or as complex as full-mouth reconstruction.
Patients who elect general anesthesia receive medications administered through an IV. The patient then falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed.
It is required that patients who receive deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off. Thus, driving is unsafe.
In some cases, we recommend oral surgery in a hospital setting. This is generally for facial reconstructive surgery and jaw reconstruction, TMJ surgery, and patients who have complex medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. General anesthesia administered in a hospital setting is done by an anesthesiologist, who will also monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure.
Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, do not eat or drink eight hours prior to your surgical appointment, with the exception of daily medications taken with a small amount of water.
Because general anesthesia causes drowsiness for several hours after it is administered, you will be required to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your appointment. After your treatment, you should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.