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Anesthesia Options in Oral Surgery

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Young Jun DDS MD FACS
gloved hand holds breathing mask to sleeping patient's faceWhen undergoing oral surgery, some form of anesthesia is needed to prevent pain and discomfort. The type administered depends on factors like the procedure complexity and your health profile. Discuss options with your oral surgeon to determine the appropriate approach.

Local Anesthesia

Many minor oral surgery procedures can be performed using local anesthesia alone. This involves injecting lidocaine to numb a specific tooth or area needing treatment. The numbness wears off within several hours. You remain fully conscious with this method.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide combined with local anesthetic provides relaxation and anxiety relief with minimal effects on consciousness. This gas is inhaled through a mask during the procedure. Though aware of what is happening, you feel comfortable and detached from any sensations. Recovery only takes about 5-10 minutes once nitrous administration stops.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation may be recommended for more prolonged procedures like wisdom tooth removal or dental implant placement. Using anti-anxiety medications like Valium induces a moderately sedated state before local anesthesia. Though tired, you can still respond to cues during the surgery. Effects wear off over the next several hours at home.

IV Sedation

IV sedation delivers sedative drugs directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous line. This creates deeper sedation than oral routes, allowing complex procedures to be performed comfortably. Local anesthesia is still used to numb the surgical site fully. IV sedation causes significant drowsiness such that you have little memory of the operation afterward.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia brings about total unconsciousness, as is needed for major maxillofacial operations. An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia through an IV line and breathing tube, fully taking over your vital functions during surgery. Though rarely needed for minor oral surgery, general anesthesia is sometimes indicated for high-anxiety patients or complex reconstructive procedures.

Anesthesia Planning

The best anesthesia plan provides adequate pain control, amnesia, and patient cooperation specific to the procedure. It is also tailored for individual risk factors like age, medical history, and drug sensitivities. Discuss options thoroughly at your pre-op evaluation so an informed decision can be made. With an appropriately matched anesthesia approach, your oral surgery experience can be as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

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Young Jun DDS MD FACS, 601 E. Yorba Linda Blvd. #9, Placentia, CA 92870 \ (657) 216-1617 \ \ 7/19/2024 \ Related Terms: dental implants Placentia CA \