For many of our patients, their oral surgery with our doctors is the first surgery they’ve ever had. Understandably, they are often nervous about what the experience will be like. Even patients who don’t normally experience dentist anxiety can be concerned about oral surgeries like tooth extractions, jaw surgery, or the placement of dental implants. Many patients who call us or visit our office for the first time inquire about our sedation dentistry options. Since we are trained oral surgeons, we are able to provide our patients with much stronger medication for their procedures than a general dentist can for a more common procedure, like filling a cavity. Below is a discussion of the three sedation dentistry options our doctors offer.
1. Local Anesthesia
If you’ve ever had a cavity drilled, then you’re familiar with local anesthesia. This numbing agent is applied directly to the area being worked on, and virtually all our oral surgery patients choose local anesthesia for their procedures. Local anesthesia is fast acting, eliminates pain and discomfort from your procedure, and the effects wear off within an hour or so after your procedure. Best yet, since the anesthesia is only applied to the area of the mouth that is being worked on, you can drive yourself home after receiving local anesthesia.
2. Nitrous Oxide
Sometimes, local anesthesia isn’t enough sedation for patients. For this reason, our doctors off oral surgery patients nitrous oxide. Administered via a mask that delivers a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide, this sedation dentistry option makes patients feel goofy and aloof, and very relaxed during their procedure. In fact, it’s nicknamed “laughing gas” because patients who choose nitrous oxide often laugh throughout their surgery. Patients who choose nitrous oxide for their oral surgery remain awake during their procedure. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off almost immediately after the mask that delivers the gas mixture is removed. This means nitrous oxide won’t interfere with other medications you take, and you can drive yourself home after your surgery if you’re up to it.
3. IV Sedation or General Anesthesia
For some oral surgery patients, the thought of being awake for oral surgery isn’t bearable. Because our doctors are specially trained, we’re able to offer these patients IV sedation, or general anesthesia for their surgery, which puts them completely asleep for their procedure. If you choose this sedation dentistry option, there may be some restrictions placed on your before and after your procedure, including:
- Fasting before your oral surgery
- Abstaining from taking certain medications before your oral surgery
- Arranging for a ride home from your procedure, as you will not be allowed to drive yourself home after receiving IV Sedation or general anesthesia
Here to Make You Comfortable An important goal at our practice is to provide you with excellent care while keeping you as comfortable as possible. If you have questions about which sedation dentistry option is best for your upcoming oral surgery, make sure to discuss it with your doctor during your initial consultation, or contact our office today at (817) 731-2789.