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. 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 your doctor at the time of your consultation.
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 may be used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in periodontal procedures.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a non irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no more than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
Our office offers our patients the option of Oral Sedation which consists of a prescription filled by your pharmacy. This oral medication is taken one hour prior to your dental treatment and requires an escort who will drive you to and from your appointment. This type of sedation offers a relaxed state to ease anxiety.
Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)
Additionally, our patients have 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 patients undergoing extensive dental surgery. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment. The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to complete treatment. This treatment also requires an escort to and from your appointment who will monitor you for hours after the procedure. In addition, you may not have anything to eat or drink six hours prior to the dental visit.