Anesthesia

The surgeons at Southwest Oral & Implant Surgery Surgery strive to achieve patient comfort and maintain their safety.

Several methods of anesthesia are available such as local anesthesia, nitrous gas, IV sedation and General Anesthesia. The method of anesthesia that is chosen for by a patient depends upon the nature of the surgical procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension. 

To administer general anesthesia in the office, an oral surgeon must have completed up to a year of hospital based anesthesia training and up to four years minimum of focused IV sedation office based training.

Qualified applicants will then undergo an in office evaluation by a state dental board appointed examiner. The examiner observes an actual surgical procedure during which general anesthesia is administered to the patient. The examiner also inspects all monitoring devices and emergency equipment and tests the doctor and the surgical staff on anesthesia related emergencies. If the examiner reports successful completion of the evaluation process, the state dental board will issue the doctor a license to perform general anesthesia. The license is renewable every two years if the doctor maintains the required amount of continuing education units related to anesthesia.

Again, when it comes to anesthesia, our first priority is the patient’s comfort and safety. If you have any concerns regarding the type of anesthesia that will be administered during your oral surgery procedure, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your doctor at the time of your consultation.

We strictly follow all standards and guidelines of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”) & General Anesthesia

Our office offers our patients the option of intravenous sedation or to some it is referred to as “twilight sedation” for their surgical treatment. Intravenous sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing the procedure. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep – a “twilight sleep”. 

General Anesthesia is a deeper IV sedation where you are sleeping but still have control over your breathing and protective reflexes. We do this routinely in our office with our patient’s waking up saying…”that’s it?, it felt like 2 minutes”. 

If you choose the option of sedation, it is administered and monitored by the doctor therefore eliminating the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same day surgical facility. If there are any health concerns, we recommend performing our treatment in the operating room with a team of anesthesiologists.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is a sweet smelling, non irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using nitrous oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have eye chamber problems, middle ear problems, emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing. You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.