The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Anesthesia and Oral Surgery
It’s normal to feel anxious before oral surgery, but proper preparation and knowing what to expect will help ensure that everything goes smoothly. One aspect of preparing for oral surgery is discussing your anesthesia options with your physician. Here’s an overview from NYC oral surgeon, Ruben Cohen, DDS, about anesthesia for oral surgery.
What does anesthesia do?
The term anesthesia comes from the Greek for “loss of sensation”, but that’s not the only effect it can cause in your body. Depending on the type(s) and amount used, anesthesia can relieve pain, induce amnesia, reduce anxiety and temporarily paralyze your muscles so that a physician can perform pain-free surgical procedures.
What types of oral surgeries use anesthesia?
Anesthesia may be used for many types of oral and maxillofacial surgeries. At our accredited Upper East Side practice, procedures commonly performed with anesthesia include:
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Dental implants
- Surgical exposure of impacted canines and other teeth
Park Avenue Oral & Facial Surgery is one of just a handful of New York City practices that also specializes in pediatric oral surgery. Our medical staff is trained in treating infants and young children with special needs and complex health issues. Get more tips to prepare for a child’s oral surgery by reading our blog post, Calming Fears About Your Child’s Oral Surgery.
What types of anesthesia are used for oral surgery?
There are several anesthetic options for oral surgery. Depending on a patient’s needs and the procedure he or she is undergoing, more than one kind of anesthesia may be used.
- Local anesthesia – With local anesthesia, the patient remains totally awake and will be fully aware of everything during the procedure. An anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery will be performed. Local anesthesia is commonly administered in conjunction with another type of anesthesia to eliminate pain during a procedure and minimize post-operative discomfort as well.
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a sweet odor and taste, which produces insensitivity to pain when inhaled. It is administered with a comfortable mask placed over the nose through which the patient breathes to achieve the sedative, relaxing effects.
- Intravenous anesthesia – Intravenous anesthesia, also referred to as “twilight sedation”, is a form of anesthesia wherein the patient is not fully unconscious, but he or she is drifting in and out of sleep in a comfortable, calm and relaxed state. This type of anesthesia can be administered by Dr. Cohen in one of the operating rooms at our accredited practice. Twilight sedation may also be used for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia when they are undergoing minor procedures.
- General anesthesia – With general anesthesia, sedation medications are administered through an intravenous line and closely monitored by Dr. Cohen. The patient is completely asleep during the procedure and will not remember anything about it.
What training do oral surgeons receive in order to administer anesthesia?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. Following dental school, they complete at least four years of training in a hospital-based surgical residency program alongside medical residents. During this time, they serve on the medical anesthesiology service, where they evaluate patients for anesthesia, deliver the anesthetics and monitor patients during and after surgery. As a result of this extensive training, oral surgeons are well prepared to appropriately administer all forms of sedation and general anesthesia in an outpatient setting.
What is office-based anesthesia?
Office-based anesthesia refers to the administration of anesthesia from the comfort and convenience of the oral surgeon’s medical practice. At Park Avenue Oral & Facial Surgery, we are pleased to offer the majority of oral surgery procedures from our office. The advantage of office-based anesthesia is that it minimizes patients’ waiting and recovery time, as compared to having the same procedure performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. In addition, in-office procedures and anesthesia delivery are usually less expensive than similar care in a hospital or outpatient surgery center.
Visit our sedation dentistry page to learn more about this topic. If you have any questions about oral surgery and anesthesia, please get in touch with our office by calling (212) 988-6725. We are here to ease your concerns about oral surgery and ensure that you are well informed about your anesthesia options long before your procedure.