Oral surgery can make potential patients anxious, and that means that there are a couple of questions that we get frequently. One is how much pain or discomfort that you can expect during a procedure, and the other we get a lot is about if you will be awake or under anesthesia for the duration. Both of these questions can be addressed by considering our various sedation options for our procedures. Based on customer comfort and the level of complexity to the procedure, there is a wide range of options, all of which we are proficient with at the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute.
Some of the simplest surgical treatments we perform include basic gum treatments and easy, simple tooth extractions. For these procedures, we generally use only a local anesthetic, which is lidocaine. Lidocaine is actually used in almost all of our sedation options as our local anesthetic, but it will be used on its own for these minor procedures.
Kicking Up a Notch with Laughing Gas
As the procedures get more complex, we add some more sedation options. For common procedures like wisdom teeth extraction or implant placements, we will add the use of nitrous oxide (known to most as laughing gas) to the lidocaine used as a local. This sedative is given to patients through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose, quickly calming any anxiety and reducing pain sensations immensely. These effects wear off almost immediately after returning to the use of regular oxygen over the nitrous oxide.
IV Sedation or General Anesthesia in Office
As a complete surgery center, we are licensed and proficient in the use of IV sedation or general anesthesia in our own office. While we generally will only recommend the use of this sedative for complex procedures like a full-mouth reconstruction, the use of general anesthetic is safe enough to use at your choice for simple procedures like wisdom teeth removal if anxiety might be a problem.
When you undergo IV sedation in our office, a patient generally will go in and out of consciousness during the procedure. However, most patients don’t remember their procedure at all and aren’t responsive to the procedure. Even if you are technically awake, you are still basically under anesthesia and shouldn’t experience any anxiety from the procedure. One important thing to note is that the effects of anesthesia are long-lasting enough that you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
For Certain Instances, Sedation Can Occur in the Hospital
For some instances, including reconstructive or TMJ surgery or patients with underlying conditions, we may recommend doing the procedure in a hospital setting under the care of an anesthesiologist. However, these instances are exceptionally rare.
When you are considering oral surgery, you will have a wide range of sedation options available to you when you select the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute. Contact us today to learn more!