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. The patient’s medical history will also be taken into consideration. The following table illustrates the choices of anesthesia, a description of the anesthetic technique and the usual indications for that technique.
|Method of Anesthesia||Description of Technique||Usual Indications|
|Local Anesthetic||The patient remains totally conscious throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (e.g. lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anesthetic is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery procedures.||Simple oral surgery procedures such as minor soft tissue procedures and simple tooth extractions.|
|Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic||A mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen is administered through a nasal breathing apparatus. The patient remains conscious in a relaxed condition. Nitrous oxide has a sedative and analgesic (pain- controlling) effect.||Simple oral surgery procedures. Useful with pediatric patients and some adults|
|Office Based General Anesthesia with Local Anesthetic*||Medications are administered through an intravenous line (I.V.). The patient falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored.||General anesthesia is available for all types of oral surgery. A patient may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implants placed will choose general anesthesia.|
To administer general anesthesia in the office, an oral surgeon must have completed at least six months of hospital based anesthesia training. Qualified applicants will then undergo an in office evaluation by a state dental board appointed examiner. The examiner observes an actual surgical procedure during which general anesthesia is administered to the patient. The examiner also inspects all monitoring devices and emergency equipment and tests the doctor and the surgical staff on anesthesia related emergencies. If the examiner reports successful completion of the evaluation process, the state dental board will issue the doctor a license to perform general anesthesia. The license is renewable every two years if the doctor maintains the required amount of continuing education units related to anesthesia.
Again, 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 Dr. Claudio at the time of your consultation.
Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)
Our office also offers our patients the option of Intravenous Sedation ,”Twilight Sedation”, for their dental treatment. Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep – a “twilight sleep”.
How is the IV Sedation Administered?
A thin plastic catheter will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. Once again some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep depending on your choice of anesthesia or what its considered safe for you by Dr.Claudio. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated. Dr. Claudio will discuss with you the type of anesthesia that best suit your surgical needs at the time of consultation.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet smelling, non irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep.