4 Things You Should Know About Anesthesia for Oral Surgery Procedures
Oral surgery often involves anesthesia and sedation. Many patients have questions about what it is like to be under the effects of sedation, and some approach surgery with significant anxiety. Read below to learn the four most important things you should know about anesthesia and sedation for oral surgery procedures.
The Difference Between IV Sedation and General Anesthesia
You should first understand that there is a big difference between IV sedation and general anesthesia. General anesthesia renders the patient unconscious, whereas IV sedation does not. IV sedation and general anesthesia are common in surgery, but general anesthesia is less common for oral surgery.
IV sedation or “twilight” sedation is a technique in which medications are administered via IV directly into the patient’s bloodstream. The drug does not render patients unconscious but rather in a half-conscious “twilight” state. While under IV sedation, patients remain relaxed and compliant with the surgeon’s instructions. IV sedation is used in tandem with a local or regional anesthetic, numbing the surgical area and preventing nerve endings from eliciting a pain response.
Contact The Experts In Oral Surgery Services
General anesthesia, on the other hand, renders the patient completely unconscious. While under the effects of general anesthesia, patients’ vitals are monitored by a trained and licensed anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is the heaviest form of sedation available for oral surgery and is usually reserved for complex procedures, such as total jaw reconstruction surgery. Most oral surgery procedures, like wisdom teeth removal, use IV sedation.
Oral Surgery Sedation is Versatile and Customizable
Your oral surgeon will consider your preferences and needs when creating a plan for your surgical sedation. Your sedation plan is customized to fit your surgical and personal requirements. For instance, ask your surgeon for strong sedation if you have surgical or dental anxiety. On the other hand, if you have concerns about being under anesthesia, ask your oral surgeon for no more than the necessary sedative. Talk to your oral surgeon about your sedation preferences during your initial consultation. Your preferences, along with these factors, will help your oral surgeon create a personalized sedation plan for you:
- Length and complexity of the procedure
- Patient’s age, weight, and medical history
- Current medications
- Prior experiences with sedation
You Will Be Given Pain Medication While Sedated
Apart from local numbing anesthesia, your oral surgeon might administer pain medication while you are sedated. IV sedation does not block pain receptors, so oral surgeons also administer a numbing gel (local anesthesia) or pain medication for more complex or lengthy procedures. Following your oral surgery procedure, your surgeon might prescribe a prescription pain reliever to be used during your recovery.
You Probably Won’t Remember Anything from IV Sedation
A common side effect of IV sedation is slight memory loss. While under the effects of IV sedation, patients remain conscious but often cannot recall the experience afterward. Most patients have a fuzzy recollection of the hours leading up to and during the procedure.
While under general anesthesia, patients are completely unconscious and unaware of their surroundings. Patients might remember the moments before they receive the medication. The patient’s recollection of the experience stops as soon as the general anesthesia enters the bloodstream and often takes a few hours to wear off following oral surgery.
Learn More at Your Consultation
Anesthesia and sedation help oral surgeons provide a comfortable and relaxing experience for patients undergoing oral surgery. IV sedation and general anesthesia are safe and effective when administered by a trained professional. Call our office to schedule a consultation and determine the right level of anesthesia for your oral surgery.
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