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 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.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation ("Laughing Gas") 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.
Oral Sedation (“Conscious Sedation”) with Local Anesthetic:
Oral sedation, also called “conscious sedation,” involves you taking a prescribed dose of sedative before your procedure. Depending on your case, you may take one pill the night before, and one pill an hour before you have the procedure, or otherwise as directed by your surgeon. This type of sedation leaves you awake for the procedure, but significantly relaxes you. Patients who have higher levels of anxiety often benefit from this type of dentistry.
Though you’re awake during your procedure, most patients remember either very little or nothing at all of the appointment after it’s happened. Depending on your case, while you’re under oral sedation, you may be hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, or you may not require that kind of monitoring. It depends on factors which your surgeon will determine. The sedative will leave you feeling sleepy, but by the next day all the effects will have worn off. You’ll need a ride home from the surgeon’s office, so plan with a friend or family member in advance.
Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”) with Local Anesthetic:
Our office offers our patients the option of Intravenous Sedation or Dental Intravenous Anesthesia or to some it is referred to as “Twilight Sedation” for their dental treatment. Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures. Your treatment can be completed under intravenous sedation. Intravenous sedation or “IV sedation” (twilight sedation) is designed to better enable you to undergo your dental procedures while you are very relaxed; it will enable you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may be very uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. 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 needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. At times a patient’s vein may not be maintainable, in these situations the medications will be administered and the needle retrieved – both scenarios will achieve the same desired level of conscious sedation. Once again some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all.
The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed. It is very safe and effective. With IV sedation a constant “drip” is maintained via the intravenous tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary. Along with IV sedation there are also other different “levels” of sedation available to you in our office. There is nitrous oxide analgesia.