Oral Surgery Anesthesia

4 Kinds of Oral Surgery Anesthesia: Overview

Are you anxious about your upcoming dental procedure?

When you come to our office for a dental treatment, we want to help ease your anxiety or nervousness. We also want you to have pain relief during the procedure by providing a type of oral surgery anesthesia.

Anesthesia is the state of controlled temporary loss of sensation or awareness. It pains relief and eases nervousness during a dental procedure. In other words, you become numb to pain and relaxed while your dentist performs treatment in your mouth.

There are different degrees of numbness depending on the type of treatment you are getting. Simple procedures may just require numbing of the area being treated. Sometimes, it might be necessary for you to be completely unaware of what’s happening during a procedure, which requires sedation.

4 Types of Oral Surgery Anesthesia


1.  Local Anesthetic

For simple and minimally invasive procedures, a local anesthetic alone may be used. This will numb only a part of your mouth and you will remain awake during the procedure.

A medicine is injected in and around the surgery area. This medicine is called a local anesthesia. Lidocaine is a common local anesthetic medicine many dentists use.

How does local anesthetics work?

The dentist will first dry part of your mouth with air and/or cotton. Most of the times, a gel is used to numb the skin.

Then the dentist will slowly inject the local anesthetic. Most patients don’t feel the needle. Some feel a little sting.

An injection of local anesthesia can last several hours. After the procedure, you may find it hard to speak clearly or even eat or drink. It is normal to be messy when drinking from a straw. Have some towels handy after the procedure.

You will be asked to be careful not to bite down on the numb area because you could be hurting yourself without even realizing it.

2. Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic

You may have heard of the term “laughing gas” that is used on people during dental procedures.

Nitrous Oxide is colorless and odorless breathable gas. This gas acts as a sedative and helps you stay calm. It will relax you by the pleasurable feelings it gives. It also acts as an analgesic, which helps relieve pain.

Nitrous oxide is used for simple oral procedures as well as more complex dental procedures. It works quickly and its effects are reversible. This is why nitrous oxide is considered to be a safe sedation method.

If you’re about to have a wisdom tooth removed or a dental implant insertion, call our office to find out if Nitrous oxide sedation is best for you.

Even when nitrous oxide is used, a local anesthetic is still going to be used around the part in the mouth affected by the procedure.

How does nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ work?

Before and during the procedure, you will be given a mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide via breathing apparatus. The gas allows you to stay conscious and relaxed.

A known side effect to this gas is mild amnesia. Until the effects wear off, you won’t remember much of what has taken place.

3. Office Based Intravenous Anesthesia with Local Anesthetic

Intravenous, or I.V., anesthesia sedates you to a very calm and relaxed state that you will not remember what would otherwise have been an uncomfortable experience. Some patients fall asleep throughout the procedure. Some drift in and out of ‘twilight sleep’ but still very relaxed.

Pain is eliminated with I.V. Anesthesia.

Some patients who tend to be very anxious about dental procedures may request I.V. anesthesia even for simple procedures. Most people select I.V. anesthesia for dental implants or wisdom teeth removal.

The following are required of oral surgeons in order for them to offer general anesthesia during in-office procedures:

  • Received hospital-based anesthesia training for a minimum of 3 months
  • Taken an in-office assessment by an examiner from the state dental board
  • Performed an oral surgery using general anesthesia with examiner’s oversight
  • Had all monitoring and emergency equipment tested
  • Had doctor and assisting surgical staff tested on anesthesia-related emergencies

Only after a successful training and evaluation will a state dental board give the oral surgeon a license to administer general anesthesia.

How does intravenous anesthesia work?

A small intravenous needle will be inserted into an arm vein. An I.V. tube will drip the anesthetic to the needle and then into your vein, helping you relax.

Call our office if you have questions about intravenous anesthesia. We will be happy to assist you with your concerns or questions.

4. Hospital Based General Anesthesia

For patients who expect extensive surgery done, an inpatient general anesthesia is offered. For instance, face and jaw reconstruction or TMJ surgery would most likely require general anesthesia.

This is administered by an anesthesiologist.

Call our office if you have questions or concerns about general anesthesia.

About Dr. Steven Paul, MD, DDS

Dr. Steven Paul’s office aims to keep you comfortable and safe. Oral surgery anesthesia helps us achieve this.

When we schedule any type of dental procedure, we will talk to you extensively about what form anesthesia is best for you. We will address any concerns you might have and answer all of your questions.

Dr. Paul is a member of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.

He has devoted his profession to all aspects of Oral Surgery with special interests in the treatment and restoration of missing teeth through dental implant procedures including advanced techniques in full mouth rehabilitation (All on 4), bone and soft tissue grafting, restoring both function and aesthetics, as well as extraction of wisdom teeth and associated cysts and tumors of the oral cavity. All this done through anesthetic techniques specific for each individual patient.

NOTE: This article is intended to promote understanding of, and general knowledge about oral surgery anesthesia. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dental care specialist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.














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