As with any general anesthetic, the medication is administered through an intravenous line. The patient falls asleep 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 can occur if there is significant infection present.
To administer general anesthesia in a dental office, an oral surgeon must have completed at least three months of hospital-based anesthesia 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.
Hospital or Sugery Center-based Anesthesia
During this type of procedure, a patient is admitted to a hospital or surgery center where anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist.
This type of anesthesia is usually reserved for patients undergoing extensive procedures such as face and jaw reconstruction and TMJ surgery. Some patients with significant medical conditions such as heart disease or lung disease who require general anesthesia may also be advised to have their surgery in this setting.
When it comes to delivering any form of anesthesia, our first priority is our 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.