Anesthesia

Several methods of anesthesia are available at our office. The method of anesthesia that is chosen by a patient depends upon the nature of the procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension.

Anesthesia Options

The following table illustrates the choices of anesthesia, a description of the anesthetic technique, and the usual indications for that technique.

Local Anesthetic The patient remains totally conscious throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (e.g. lidocaine or similar) 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 most procedures. Endodontics, implant surgery, most periodontal procedures, and tooth extractions.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation 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. For patients that request it, this can be used for any of the above procedures, in addition during periodic maintenance or teeth cleaning appointments.
Office based I.V. sedation anesthesia with local anesthetic. Medications are administered through an intravenous line (I.V.). The patient falls into a “twilight sleep” and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Medications most commonly used are Fentanyl (opiate), Versed (benzodiazepine), Ketamine, and Diprivan. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored. General anesthesia is available for all types of oral surgery. A patient may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implant placed will choose general anesthesia. General anesthesia may be necessary if local anesthesia fails to anesthetize the surgical site which often occurs in the presence of infection.
Office based general anesthesia We will have an anesthesiologist (an M.D.) come into the office to administer the necessary drugs and monitor all of your vitals. This is indicated for patients with extensive anxiety when it comes to most dentally related procedures. Also it can be indicated for patients with medical conditions such as heart disease or lung disease who require general anesthesia.