Anesthesia for Oral Surgery: What You Need to Know

woman preparing for oral surgery

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Oral surgery can be intimidating, especially when you hear the term “anesthesia” thrown around. It’s okay to be nervous when your doctor recommends anesthesia. However, by learning about it, you might be able to conquer your fear before you have the procedure.

Anesthesia is a safe method of relaxation and pain relief both during and immediately after a dental procedure. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will have the training to administer anesthesia safely.

Continue reading to learn more about the different kinds of anesthesia used in oral surgery. 

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia involves a numbing agent injection into the area, usually under the gums, where the procedure will take place. It allows you to stay awake during the procedure without worrying about the effects of general anesthesia. This type of anesthesia is ideal for minor dental procedures like filling cavities. 

The numbing agent is generally going to be lidocaine or novocaine. It targets the nerves and blocks the pain signals to the brain so that you only feel the pressure associated with the dentist’s tools. While it is wearing off, you will most likely experience numbness in your mouth and cheeks.

In addition to the anesthesia, dentists may also use nitrous oxide (also known as ‘laughing gas’) to help you feel relaxed during the procedure. The effects of the laughing gas will wear off rather quickly after the procedure.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deeper level of anesthesia. It completely relaxes your body into effective sedation where you will stay mostly conscious during the procedure. Most people remember more about before and after the procedure rather than the actual surgery. 

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is also administered through an IV. You will have no memory of the surgery because the anesthesia renders you unconscious for the duration of the procedure. You can ask your oral surgeon ahead of time for more information on specifics. 

This type of anesthesia is generally reserved for more intense surgical procedures such as:

  • Wisdom teeth removals involving impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Larger oral procedures, like jaw surgery or facial reconstruction 

General anesthesia can also be appropriate for those who are extremely anxious or nervous about the procedure. You may also notice that it’s recommended for those who have a medical condition that will need monitoring in a hospital setting. 

Try Not to Worry Too Much

When your OMS administers anesthesia, you can rest assured that they have the requisite training, formal certifications and proper equipment to monitor your vitals during the procedure. 

If you are still feeling anxious about the anesthesia that our OMS will use, don’t worry! We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have. 

Feel free to reach out to Synergy OMS for more information on the types of anesthesia used during oral procedures.

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